TIMES AND WINDS: Adolescent dread and wonder in Garden-of-Eden-like frames.
The coast of Turkey looks downright Edenic in Reha Erdem’s meditative and visually exquisite pastoral, from the radiant landscapes at dawn to the moonlit, Caspar David Friedrich–like nights. Time also passes at an ancient pace, following the rounds set by the sun and divided up by the five daily calls to prayer referred to in the original Turkish title, Bes vakit. Under the idyllic surface, however, ancient passions rumble, felt with dread and wonder by three children on the cusp of adolescence. Ömer dreams of killing his father, the Imam, who disdains Ömer in favor of his younger son. Yet in a society that never spares the rod, this Imam is relatively easy-going. Paternal violence is a legacy, as Yakup learns when he sees his father driven to tears by his father. Neither do girls escape: Yıldız enjoys her father’s love but shrinks before her mother’s discipline. Erdem captures the spirit of the place and that of childhood, except when his simple techniques (track shots, especially) lapse into mannerisms. Turkish | 111 minutes | Mfa: November 30; December 1, 5, 7, 9