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Saturday, June 25, 2011

265. Hur Adam (Free Man)

    In the heart of north London, there is a substantial Turkish community.
    Thus, films are shown at places like Wood Green and never rear their heads elsewhere in the country.
    Such was so, back in January, when Hur Adam hit British screens. I couldn't get to see it at that point so I've imported a Turkish DVD with English subtitles. The miracle of internet purchases.
    Not only that but I've just sat through all two hours 37 minutes of it!
    And, in return, I feel enlightened in more ways than one.
    Hur Adam is the story of Said Nursi, an Islamic scholar who was persecuted throughout his life in Turkey despite, on the face of it, being the voice of tolerance and support for the republic.
    His devotion to the Koran did not fit in with the regime's attempts to westernise the country but he survived endless attempts on his life, years in prison, house arrest and even being denied bread and water for 15 days to become one of Turkey's most influential men of the 20th century.
    Director Mehmet Tannsever returned to the movies after a 20-year break to make a modern-day epic.
    Critics say it is overlong and its message is repetitive. I didn't find that at all.
    This taught me a heck of a lot about the development of Turkish society and a major character of whom I had no previous knowledge.
    Mursit Bag is excellent as Said Nursi, conveying a wisdom and steel for his subject's struggle admirably.
    Certainly, one cannot swallow the message whole and I was left wondering whether the Turkish government could have possibly been so needlessly dastardly in their handling of Said.
    One can clearly compare the story with that of Ghandi but there are even echoes of The Greatest Story Ever Told.
    If I understood Said Nusi correctly, one would imagine that he would have felt himself unworthy of such comparison.
    But Tannsever needs praise for the ambition of his work. It is not only well directed but its cinematography is stunning at times.
    I think the rating of just 5.9/10 on imdb is too low. It receives 7.5/10 in my book.
    Hur Adam was the number one on my catch-up list. Hoorah!

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265. Hur Adam (Free Man)

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