Not So Much Peace and Harmony

in 40th International Istanbul Film Festival

by Viktor Apalaci

I consider Nesimi Yetik’s It’s All About Peace and Harmony (Dirlik Düzenlik, 2020) to be the Turkish version of Pedro Almódovar’s Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988). In Yetik’s film, we see two unmarried sisters who live with their mother and continuously quarrel. The film successfully addresses difficult themes such as family disputes, underlying competition, jealousy, and desperation.

Yetik, who depicted men’s problems with a twist in his debut feature Soul of Dust (Toz Ruhu, 2014), focuses on the problems of women in his second film. Other than the director, the main cast and crew are all women: the editor, the three lead actors, and co-screenwriter Betül Esener, who makes a great contribution in sketching the portrait of women and reflecting a female sensibility.

The film tells the story of a mother who agrees to an unsuitable marriage in order to escape the fighting of her two daughters, one of whom experiences problems due to a physical disability, while the other is a single social-climber. Painful experiences and disputes which have been swept under the rug are gradually revealed during the sisters’ arguments. Quarrels open wounds and lead to offensive and hurtful accusations. The three women attempt to act as a unified family in order to celebrate the mother’s birthday. However, this happy family picture does not last long, given everyone is hurting.

Betül Esener and Dudu Yetik (the director’s wife and mother) give very successful performances, while the third lead, Asiye Dinçsoy, has already established herself as a very good actor. Although Yetik has only made two movies so far, I believe he is a promising director worth following. One of the aims of İstanbul’s national and international competition is to draw attention to young talent, and this is what FIPRESCI has done.

Viktor Apalaci
Edited by Lesley Chow