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Online Preview: Houses with Small Windows

A powerful and yet muted portrait of an honour killing in the rural Kurdish Southeast of Turkey, "Best Film" at 021 Capalbio Cinema International Short Film Fest.

15 – 20 | 2013 | Drama | Live-Action | Social Issues | Turkey

The online preview is expired, but you can still read the review and watch the trailer.

In the Kurdish south-east of Turkey, honor killing is still a very common practice. In this intimate yet powerful portrait of what happens within families that find themselves having to commit this brutal practice, we follow the story of Dilan, a young 22 year old who has to pay with her own life the price of her forbidden love with a young man from a nearby village. The girl stained her family with dishonor, so she must die – at the hands of his brothers. The tradition also requires that this murder must be compensate, and another  young girl, Emine, will have to get into this vicious cycle of abuse and violence.

Approximately 5000 women each year lose their lives as a result of honor killings, all over the world. The director of the short, Bülent Öztürk, is of Kurdish origin, and within his people these murders are frequent. His own mother, in fact, has a similar history to that of little Emine. This is why he decided to make this short, to make the everyday drama that many women live everyday visibile.

The director makes us participant observers of this heartbreaking story using an intimate and discreet look, never indulging in moral judgments or detailed explanations. The facts speak for themselves. A story narrated through long silences, poetic images and delicate intrusions in the protagonists’ private households. This approach, detached and involved at the same time, makes the  images and situations presented even harder, leaving viewers speechless.

Öztürk was born in a village in south-eastern Turkey, but has been living for many years in Antwerp. He has directed several short films and documentaries, much acclaimed in his native land. Houses with Small Windows just won the Grand Prix Capalbio award for best film, “the emotional force of a truth that exists and we had the privilege of seeing not only witnessed, but acted upon. Through the beauty, it manages to tell the horror“.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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