Cinema, the fascinating silver screen opening to layers of existence, a journey beyond the world of words, course on the waves of known and unknown colours. Sounds, echoing on the mirrors inside us, carrying their meanings in the world of images, timelessly beyond the world that can be touched, in the language of the heart. Mirrors until our cliffs, secretive touches to sadness of existence in the world of visions we get lost, beams of knowing in silence and darkness. Beams, hand in hand with sadness, the intuition of being human hidden in a painful existence. Meeting ourselves naked, in the nest of goodness and badness, in the flow of thousands of years of intuition. 

Once upon a time, it was indispensable to watch a film at the cinema, in the nineties, when I was around twenty years old. The cinemas in Beyoğlu, the fascinating waves of Turkish and world products of cinema were pioneers for us to hear the sound of our hearts on our own journeys. Atıf Yılmaz, Tunç Başaran, Ömer Kavur, İrfan Tözüm, Zeki Demirkubuz films, Rutkay Aziz, Serap Aksoy, Zuhal Olcay, Haluk Bilginer, Hale Soygazi, Fikret Kuşkan and more. The cinemas that are very few in number, the sorrow of not being able to have that mood at the new, garish cinemas of the shopping centres have directed most of us to home cinemas. Years later, with the feeling of necessity of joining an interview as a listener, “Black Night” made me experience getting lost in a bone-deep film at the cinema, living in the private world of the film even after the lights are on, standing up and walking with the amazement of getting back the light reality of the world out of the film, the taste of taking recognized breathes as the pain goes on. In a dimension fascinated by the silver screen, in the endless steps of timelessness, from the cliffs of my own mirrors to the concrete world. Being alone with the “Black Night” at the dark cinema, a unique experience, the flutters of my heart are in my eyes in waves. 

The resistance to evil until the end is a kind of hope which has its reward in itself. This film is a mirror to the darkness existing in all of us, the reflection of the scream of our consciousness, a gift for us, a never-to-be- forgotten masterpiece.

“Black Night” takes us into its world right from the first scene. We meet İshak, a musician, who has been away from his hometown for seven years. He has sorrow in his heart, in his looks, we feel his wound in his stance. He has to go back to his hometown, his pain of seven years on his back, he goes along wild ways on his motorbike, ways are at the steepness of the burden of existence, his black sorrow in his eyes. The pain starts to unfold with flashbacks, the vision of wildly screaming men armed with sticks and guns, toppled on vehicles comes and goes, lights sparkling in the dark on the mountain, a young man whose smile, looks warm us inside, a young man who is not like those there, whose not being like them is a crime, oh Ali. Everybody has forgotten, nobody has forgotten, they have always pretended to forget. The wound has never formed a crust, it opens again very deeply, it turns into a nightmare. It mixes with Şefik’s mother’s breath, echoes in deep cliffs of water. A silent complicity, childhood friends, fellow countrymen, those who have been living there for thousands of years and violate the rights of those who have been living there for ten thousands of years, in spite of the law. People who breathe in the shallowness of town hypocrisy that Sabahattin Ali writes in his works, in the black heart of traditions that are thousands of years old and think it too much for others to have a rest, who are the enemies of the eyes that see beauty because they cannot see beauty.  It is wrong for two men singing in a friendly way, sharing cool water and the interest of a woman of town in an outsider. Men hunt and have a rest at the coffee houses which only men go, refresh their union on the raki tables with fire on the mountain, those who are not there are wrong, the herd is the enemy of the “stranger”, the stranger is “the painted bird”, this person must be destroyed with a lynch peculiar to us, Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” is facing us. 1915, 6-7 September, Saturday mothers, “magicians” that were burnt in the Middle Age. The male domination that we see in the film “Mustang” as well, women who support it under the yoke of repression. How can the hunters in Chingiz Aitmatov’s “The White Ship” know the excitement of tracking a beautiful animal  that is said to be extinct because they think the deers of good news have meaning in the stomach? Loving nature’s wildness for its own sake, showing your love is being like the boy on the way to “The White Ship” who refused the hopelessness of the white-hearted grandfather against darkness by suffocating it in the depths of water. A person should not be intoxicated by the beauty of flowers when the apple trees blossom, but think there will be lots of apples that year. Shefik cannot think that way anymore, even the others say that they have families, that it has been seven years, no, never, Shefik has seen the dark light in his heart, the black light that exists in all humanity, the light that is reflected to our eyes from the screen, he cannot be still, the white power in his being does not let him alone and it must not. Ali’s father’s getting lost in front of his eyes make him totally desperate, in his heart his love that he has lost, a search in the depths of nature, despite losing himself. 

The unforgettable images that support the scenario that never loses its reality even for a moment make us feel in each frame we are with a real masterpiece. The camera that focuses on faces supports Ingmar Bergman’s famous saying: “Cinematography is human faces.” The looks, faces of the actors show us how they have internalised their roles. Especially Berkay Ateş’s eyes that reflect his sorrow have been on my mind for a long time, that sorrow has woken me up at nights and has followed me until I write about them. His eyes are as deep as the sinkholes he has been to one by one. The resistance to evil until the end is a kind of hope which has its reward in itself. The reflection of Shefik’s moods before and after that night is also very successful. This film is a mirror to the darkness existing in all of us, the reflection of the scream of our consciousness, a gift for us, a never-to-be- forgotten masterpiece and I am so grateful to dear Özcan Alper, Berkay Ateş and the whole crew for making me experience this magic.

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