Once Upon A Time In Anatolia Review

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A group of men, including a doctor (Muhammet Uzuner) and a prosecutor (Taner Birsel), search an Anatolian town for the shallow grave of a murder victim. But what motivated the crime and what is the killer hiding?


Nuri Bilge Ceylan confirms his reputation as a cinematic master with this audacious blend of disparate genres. What appears to be a simple crime story, as three vehicles snake across the bleak landscape in search of a buried murder victim, evolves into a compelling road movie, a complex human drama and a socio-political critique. The corpse proves hard to find, but viewers will note the significance of snippets of information let slip and will begin to piece together a poignant picture of Turkish manhood. The actors appear to be upstaged by the majesty of Gökhan Tiryaki’s cinematography and Ceylan’s control of composition. But the devastating denouement reveals the full extent of their subtle brilliance.

Complex and sophisticated, this genre-defying crime story is spellbinding viewing.