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Araf – Somewhere in between
Runing time : 120 minutes
Original language : Turc N° RPCA : 128 928
Araf is the story of two young people caught in a vacuum in their lives, ZEHRA (18) and OLGUN (18). They both work 24 hour shifts in a great service station situated by a motorway.The place they inhabit and work is a place of throw away culture, constant change, and they themselves wait for the chance to change and escape from their empty monotonous lives.
Zehra lives with her family in a village. When she is not working, like most people her life passes in front of the tv. She daydreams that one day she will escape her dull environs to go far away to live a glamorous life and fall wonderfully in love like the characters she sees on the small screen. Zehra’s work colleague Olgun lives with his parents in the nearby city. He also plans to get rich quick by winning the prize on a tv gameshow. He aims to be a powerful and impressive man in this life. On one hand he is dreaming of appearing on the gameshow and on the other he is wildy in love with Zehra and tries tirelessly to impress her. They both work in the petrol station and share the same tv fuelled dreams.
One day Zehra falls passionately in love with a lorry driver MAHUR (38) who arrives at the petrol station one winter, and the pairs’ life is turned upside down because of it. Zehra discovers her own body, sexual powers and self-confidence through this affair, and starts to slowly lose the innocence of her girlhood. Olgun notices this change in Zehra and is affected by it, he starts to try more outlandish stunts inspired by those he has seen on tv, to make himself a local hero and attract her attentions and win her back.
When Zehra learns that she is pregnant she tries to protect her unborn child in a very conservative society and she learns that only she can take responsibility for life and decide on its’ direction . Olgun’s violent reaction instigated by his incredible disappointment and wounded pride at this news causes him to end up in prison. After some time though he learns the meaning of true love and selflessness.
Throughout the passing of the film these two young people learn the stark truths of life, grow to maturity and embracing each other discover the real escape route from this limbo, albeit very far from the one of their intial dreams…
Written and directed by Yesim Ustaogly
Zehra Neslihan Atagül
Olgun Baris Hacihan
Mahur Ozcan Deniz
Derya Nihal Yalcin
Rifat Ilgaz Kocatürk
Haydar Can Bazak
Meryem Yesemin Conkar
Producers : Yesim Ustaoglu, Serkan Cakarer, Catherine Dussart, Michael Weber
Associate producers : Hisami Kuroiwa and Meinolf Zurhorst
Director of photography : Michael Hammon
Sound and mixing : Bruno Tarrière
Editors : Mathilde Muyard and Naim Kanat
Music by : Marc Marder
A European Co-production between :
Ustaoglu Film Yapim/Turky, CDP / France, The Match Factory /Germany, ZDF/ARTE/ Germany
TRT / Turky
Supported by T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanligi/Turky, Centre National du cinéma et de l’image animée/France, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg/Germany, Eurimages