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A successful Istanbul couple re-assess their shared existence in this taut, meticulously shot and piercingly truthful take on bourgeois malaise.

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  • Director-Screenwriter Asli Özge
  • Producer Nadir Öperli
  • With Defne Halman, Hakan Çimenser, Gizem Akman, Onur Dikmen
  • Turkey-Germany-Netherlands 2013
  • 102 mins
  • Sales Films Boutique

Asli Özge’s follow-up to her prize-winning feature debut Men on the Bridge (which played in the 2009 LFF) is still more assured and impressive. Acclaimed conceptual artist Ela might seem to have it all, even if her marriage to Can, a likewise successful architect who designed their minimalist Istanbul house himself, has lost its shine and their daughter Nil has left home to study in Ankara. But if she weren’t already anxious enough – about her work and about passing 50 – a conversation she overhears has her doubting Can’s fidelity. Özge’s bold exploration of bourgeois malaise articulates its astute psychological insights not through the sparse, intentionally unrevealing dialogue but through the deft nuances of the uniformly fine performances and through Emre Erkmen’s cinematography; the meticulous framing of interiors and exteriors alike is as expressive – and as strikingly imaginative – as Antonioni’s. Taut, poised and lucid, the film rings piercingly true.

Geoff Andrew

Director biography

Lifelong is Asli Özge’s second feature, following on from his debut, Men on the Bridge (2009), which premiered internationally at the Locarno and Toronto Film Festivals and won the Best Film awards at the Istanbul, Adana, Ankara and London Film Festivals. The film was released in several countries including Germany, the UK, USA (MoMA New York), The Netherlands and Turkey and has been shown at around 40 film festivals. Asli Özge was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1975 and has been living in Berlin since 2000. Özge is currently preparing her new film All of a Sudden, which is presented in the Co-Production Market of 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.

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