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Taşkafa, Stories of the Street

The erosion of an Istanbul community by vested economic interests is told through the eyes of the street dogs that have always been welcome there.

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  • Director Andrea Luka Zimmerman
  • Producers Gulen Guler, Bill McAlister
  • Screenwriters Andrea Luka Zimmerman, Gulen Guler
  • With John Berger (voice)
  • Turkey-UK 2013
  • 66 mins
  • Sales Yalan Dünya Film Yapin

Taşkafa is a real dog and also a legend on the streets of Istanbul. John Berger begins Taşkafa’s story, reading from his novel, King, the story of the disappearance of a community told from a dog’s perspective. The area’s ordinary people – taxi drivers, shopkeepers, street traders – care deeply about the welfare of the city’s street dogs and they tell us stories about Taşkafa and their other canine neighbours. The animals are a symbol of community living, where people (and dogs) look out for each other, but this is a community in transition; one from which dogs are starting to be expelled. Eccentric, amusing and very warm, the film is a powerful indictment of the impact of global politics and the economic appropriation of public space but, even more, it is a tribute to both the spirit of resistance and to city life that can accommodate people and dogs together.

Helen de Witt

The filmmaker will be in extended conversation following the screening on Friday 18 October.

Director biography

Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist filmmaker and cultural activist. She has been making films since 1998, originally as part of the film collective Vision Machine, which was based predominantly in Indonesia, exploring the impact of globalisation and collaborating directly with plantation workers. This period also prompted early research for her film essay Prisoner of War (2014), which investigates US militarism and foreign policy through a character study of one of its most enduring rogue agents. She is currently in production with her latest work, Estate, a Reverie (2014).

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