Thursday, April 12
Semih Kaplanoğlu: “I’ve learned a lot from Bergman.”
The screening of Winter Light from the section “Bergman: 100 Years” took place at Beyoğlu Sineması, and director Semih Kaplanoğlu presented the film that he picked: “When I was 15, I watched Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal on Turkish state TV. It was the first Bergman film I’d seen. I remember I was much impressed. I then read books about Bergman and watched documentary films made about him. Each time I would find it fascinating that he had this unfiltered look that was based on humans and their inner world. When it comes to cinema, Bergman asks the most real and painful questions about human existence. He proves human soul’s existence through a spirit, a feeling or an image. To me, he doesn’t just walk inside the dark labyrinths of human soul but also gives hope. I think without Bergman’s female characters it wouldn’t be possible to describe the women of today or come close to understanding their psyche.” Then the director read the notes that Bergman took in his book The Magic Lantern about Winter Light. “I’ve always tried to make my films interesting for the audience. However, I wasn’t so stupid to believe that people would love Winter Light. Not even one shooting session was done in natural light. I shot all of them under cloudy and foggy weather. In general, Winter Light lacks many dramatic moments.” Then Kaplanoğlu continued: “Bergman is an artist who always oscillated between believing and not believing in God. He’s said that the question of God is the main theme of his art. He conveys different states of existence through the inner conflicts, pains or abandonments and the inquiries into their moral compass that the characters develop before certain situations. His characters, just like himself, aren’t afraid to ask such questions as ‘Who are we? Does God exist? What is our purpose on earth?’”.