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Waiting for the Clouds

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Director  Yesim Ustaoglu
Initial DVD release  April 28, 2009 (USA)
Language  Turkish, Greek
6.8/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Budget  2 million EUR
Country  Turkey
Waiting for the Clouds movie poster
Release date  January 19, 2003 (2003-01-19)
Writer  Georgios Andreadis (novel), Petros Markaris, Yesim Ustaoglu
Cast  Ruchan Caliskur (Ayse), Ridvan Yagci (Mehmet), Suna Selen (Selma), Ismail Baysan (Cengiz), Oktar Durukan (Muharrem)
Similar movies  Related Yesim Ustaoglu movies

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Waiting for the Clouds (Bulutlari Beklerken) is a film from 2003, Turkey. The film was directed by Yeşim Ustaoğlu. It is based on a novel by Georgios Andreadis titled Tamama. The film was produced by Setarh Farsi, Helge Albers and Behrooz Hashemian. The film was nominated in Montréal World Film Festival 2004.


Waiting for the Clouds Waiting for the Clouds aka Bulutlari beklerken Movie Poster 1 of

Movie waiting for the clouds trailer tamama karadeniz


Waiting for the Clouds Waiting for the Clouds 2004 Yeim Ustaolu

The neighbor´s son Mehmet is worried about the elderly woman Ayshe, and he likes hearing her stories. When Ayshe´s older sister dies she refuses to be with the other villager and starts searching for her younger brother in Greece. Waiting for the Clouds takes place in 1975 and Mehmet´s experience is based on the directors memory from the 70s. And the character Ayshe would not have had to keep her ethnic identity a secret for 50 years if she had lived in a tolerant environment.

Hiding ethnic identity

Waiting for the Clouds Bulutlar Beklerken Waiting for the Clouds filmi Sinemalarcom

The character of Ayshe was born Eleni, daughter of indigenous Greeks in the eastern Black Sea region of Northern Turkey, what was once the ancient country of Pontus. She was adopted by a Turkish Muslim family in the World War I. Fear is the reason that Ayshe never spoke of her ethnic past again. In the 70s Turkey the government did put a lot of pressure on the ordinary lives. If there had been tolerance, Ayshe would not have had to keep her ethnic identity a secret for 50 years. But in 1970s Turkey, paranoia and a fear of “others” was on the rise while tolerance toward minority ethnic groups diminished.

Boundaries and Ties

Waiting for the Clouds Waiting for the Clouds 2004 Yeim Ustaolu

The movie has many commonalities with a series of movies by the renowned film maker Theodoros Angelopoulos: the borders and their impact on the lives of human beings – as in The Suspended Step of the Stork; a tedious Odyssean search for a family member – as in Landscape in the Mist; the long-lost identity and the fusion of different cultures – as in Ulysses' Gaze and The Suspended Step of the Stork. The similarities are not limited to the content and themes; they also include the form and style of the movie: carefully composed scenes and an enormous number of extended long shots. But there are telling differences as well. In Waiting for the Clouds, Ustaoglu tends to emphasize on the idea of distance, whereas Angelopolous emphasizes on the journey. We barely see Ayshe on the journey; rather, we see her at two different destinations. She belongs to a generation which has gone through the ordeal of Population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and has never managed to fully recover from that emotional wound. When she finally decides to overcome her fears and inhibitions and go to find her lost brother, she trespasses a number of boundaries. We don’t see her cross the physical boundary, the border, – unlike Angelopolous – but her crossing the imagined boundaries that she had created for herself is manifest. “The objective properties of the community are less important than the imagined ones.” Deep in her subconscious, she imagines herself belonging to another nation, another community, and another language. But when she ventures outside her little home in the small village, she gets to see that what she had imagined to be her true community, is as strange to her as it gets. She goes back to Turkey, but she is not the same person anymore. She seems like she has put a huge burden off her shoulder. She begins to smile.

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Waiting for the Clouds Wikipedia
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