A small film crew arrives in Istanbul. They have been commissioned to make a film about the city for a small TV channel. They start work immediately, filming interviews with the first people they meet, then move to their hotel, where they continue making interviews. The next day they head out onto the streets to film the many, very varied districts of Istanbul, from the old and crumbling, to the super-modern shopping malls and retail districts.
One day in the cutting room, spooling through the footage, the director notices that some shapes and figures are there which he had not seen on the actual day of filming: - it seems that his camera has picked up the presence of ghosts. This idea fascinates the director, and soon begins to obsess him. He films deliberately in the more lonely, older neighbourhoods and at night in the hope of finding more ghosts. After a while, his crew abandons him to his obsession, and the director continues filming alone.
As the director passes through this journey from daylight to darkness, from the living city to the city of the past, many aspects of life in Istanbul are touched upon: the destruction and renovation of old neighbourhoods, immigrant workers, resistance to the government, the many diverse religions and communities living in the city, the peculiarly melancholy essence of Istanbul.
Release in German cinemas: from November 26th
Director: Ben Hopkins
Script: Ben Hopkins, Ceylan Ünal Hopkins
Producers: Hans W. Geißendörfer, Mustafa Dok
D.o.P.: Jörg Gruber
Editor: Levent Çelebi a.k.a. LewQ
Music: Efe Akmen, LewQ
Sound: Bilge Bingül
Production Design & Costume Design: Maja Zogg
YEARNING is produced by Bredok Film Production and Geißendörfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion, in coproduction with ZDF/Arte. Supported by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and DFFF.
Distributor: Piffl Medien