Belma Bas is the screenwriter for this film. As the film was about to begin Ms Bas asked the audience to be patient, because some people had found the story too slow.
Once again, it was beautifully photographed in a remote, but unidentified rural area of Turkey. A young girl, Zephyr, lives with her grandparents. Every day she climbs to the top a hill to watch for the return of her mother, who does not arrive until perhaps a third of the way through the film. When the mother does eventually appear, we very soon we learn that she is leaving again perhaps permanently—without her daughter Zephyr. The tension and suspense arise because the film makes us ask so many questions, such as, in the first instance, whether the mother really coming? And why does she want to go away so soon.
I got really involved in this story. Clearly, the mother simply wanted to get away from her own child as fast as possible, for no apparent reason. There is a very effective scene in which the daughter follows her mother as she leaves, walking along the back country roads. When the mother sees her child behind her, she shouts at her, pushes her away—treating her like a dog. As the mother of three now adult children, I try to understand such a mother. But for me, it’s almost impossible.
But, of course, she is the archetypal image of the bad mother. And she is hatefully bad! Every such image must have its opposite. She is the antithesis of the good mother to whom most mothers aspire. I struggled to put my mind around such a person. My only question was how could she be so cruel to her own daughter? But wait a minute. What about the movie Mommie Dearest? Such women have always been portrayed in film and novels. If we think about it, don’t we all know some version of this woman?
Does anyone else react as strongly to such a portrayal as I do? I won’t tell you how it all ends, but I came away thinking that the mother deserved what she got.
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