On The Coast

On The Coast


Reviewed by: Val Kermode

Summer, somewhere on the Turkish coast. A tourist bus arrives and drops off its load. Here are the apartments the visitors will stay in. Here are the houses of the locals. This is the campsite and here is the beach. It's not an original idea to show the contrast between tourist life and local life, but the best thing about this film is that without dialogue or commentary it relies on the tannoy announcements of stallholders to let us know what is happening in this rather one star resort.

For the most part, this works, as the traders not only tell us what they are selling - “tanning oil, diapers, glasses for the solar eclipse” - but they seem to have taken on the role of public information service - “A black horse is roaming our streets. Do not attempt to feed it or ride it.”

The film-makers have a good eye for detail: the bagel seller balancing his wares on his head, the piece of civic sculpture barely visible in an area of weeds, someone's good intention abandoned. Best of all, at a roadside stall producing garden ornaments, a lonely group of painted Snow Whites.

More of this would have been preferable to the clumsily inserted “humorous” scenes of tourists frying in the sun or slapping at their insect bites. So obviously set up, these episodes don't match the tone of the rest of the film.

I liked the fact that the ending – apples rotting on the ground when the tourists have gone – returned to that horse, who is seen getting thinner as he forages for scraps.

Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2010
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Summer at the seaside in the Turkish village of Erikli.
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Director: Merve Kayan, Zeynep Dadak

Year: 2010

Runtime: 22 minutes

Country: Turkey


Doc/Fest 2010

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