In this time of films about migrant populations, few stay at home to direct the gaze at those left behind. Kurdish director, Sami Mermer, returns home to Xalko, a village of 30 houses in Turkey, where all the men have fled overseas to Europe to find work. What they leave behind are wives who manage a livelihood of selling cow’s milk, rearing sheep, sewing blankets and carpets. The heartbreak is also palpable as the women are forgotten when the men start families with foreign wives. When a retired man is shown trying to return home, his wife adamantly refuses him. Is it any wonder when the rare educated village girl refuses marriage? Still, the magic hour sunsets are gorgeous, the weddings that take place just as joyous and the departures a constant refrain. (Philip CHEAH)
[Screening Information]-UMFF On Air (Online Screening) / 10.23 ~ 11.01 (10 days) / Korean Open (limited for Korea region)
* Every film is only available from 00:00(KST) on its start date to 23:59(KST) on its end date.
Sami MERMER, Hind BENCHEKROUN
Sami Mermer co-directed with Hind Benchekroun Turtles Do Not Die of Old Age, a documentary about old people in Morocco and a Jutra nominee. Their second film was also nominated for best editing and best documentary at Gala-Québec Cinéma in 2017. Xalko is their third feature documentary.