Release: Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Written by: Tofiq Rzayev; Mehmet Fatih Güven
Directed by: Tofiq Rzayev
This marks yet another collaboration I’ve had as part of the writing staff over at Mr. Rumsey’s Film Related Musings. A shout-out to James for passing the word on to me about this short film.
In a Time for Sleep uses a simple but wholly unexpected act of violence as an allegory for the frustration felt by women of Turkey — and many other nations besides — who remain quagmired in oppressive laws and archaic customs that to this day refuse to embrace western concepts such as gender equality.
Freedom, be it from abusive relationships — which is how one might literally interpret the result of the quarrel that opens the film — or from oppressive regimes, is a key theme, as is rebirth and spiritual enlightenment, the latter at least in terms of a person discovering inner strength they never knew they had; if they’re to be measured purely by their ability to endure. Admittedly, these themes aren’t exactly subtle; then again, there isn’t much room within the confines of 15 minutes for nuance.
An intense argument at what is meant to be an anniversary dinner sets Leyla (Goknur Danishik) on an entirely new path when she discovers her boyfriend Arda (Mehmet Fatih Güven) has been involved with another woman (Elif Barut) for nearly two years. The woman, who remains nameless, bursts in the front door at a miraculous moment (again, no points deducted due to the aforementioned time constraints) only to stumble into the aftermath. To writer-director Tofiq Rzayev’s credit, events hereafter don’t exactly play out as one might expect.
While the journey itself is never quite the head trip its otherwise beautiful shots of the natural environment, of sunsets and flocks of birds taking on geometric shapes suggest it’s trying to be, In a Time for Sleep has something important to say and there’s no denying it expresses its frustration clearly.
Recommendation: Capably acted — nothing special, but nothing particularly dubious either — and beautifully shot, In a Time for Sleep passes quickly but not without significance. It’s metaphorical representation of the continued suppression of women’s rights across the globe can’t be ignored, and that’s a credit to virtually all major aspects of this production.
Running Time: 15 mins.
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