Arriving in a land beset by constant war, enigmatic wanderer Kosmos (Yesil) soon alienates the locals of the wintry city of Kars.
This Turkish fable looks astonishing — its physical location is the ancient, snowbound city of Kars — but has a fragile, straggling plot which doesn’t quite engage with its weird protagonist, holy fool Kosmos (Sermet Yesil), or the more normal citizens his antics affect. When the initially grateful townsfolk turn on the weirdo — he’s also a scrounger and a petty thief — it’s hard not to see their point. A border war is in the offing with constant military rumblings and a satellite/spaceship crashes nearby, suggesting an escalation of chaos, but director-writer Reha Erdem withholds apocalypse in favour of a shaggy-dog tale.
Visually arresting but teeth-grindingly metaphysical, Reha Erdem's curio has shades of Tarsem Singh in its thinly sketched but eye-catching storytelling.
Reviewed by Kim Newman