Mad Ahmet is coming.
THE SMALL TOWN
Based on a story by Emine Ceylan
Editing Ayhan ErgŘrsel
Producer Sadik lncesu
Production NBC Film
Written and directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Good morning. -Thank you. -l swear to be honest...
to protect my youngers.
To respect my elders.
To love my homeland
My ideal is to rise, to progress.
l vow to
walk your path...
goal you set.
l surrender my being to that of Turkey.
Happy is he who is a Turk.
Good day friends. -Thank you.
-Good morning! -Thank you! - Sit down.
Pinar? -Here. -Elif? -Here.
Nazli. -Here. lsmail. -Absent.
Yes G÷khan, read today's passage aloud.
Love and Loyalty in the family.
Families are like small societies.
They share joy and sorrow.
Family relations are based on love, respect and solidarity.
The family is the nucleus of the nation and human society.
lt is the source of social peace.
Peace and order within families radiates outwards...
to affect the entire society.
lt is our duty to uphold this structure.
Children, is there a strange smell in the room?
Yes. There is a smell.
Everyone, take out your lunch boxes.
Put them on the desks.
One of the meals smells.
Asiye, dear. Didn't you notice this smell?
No, l couldn't smell anything.
This could poison you, my girl. Your mother should be more careful.
How could she do this?
Please go and throw it away.
l will arrange something else for you to eat.
Tell your mother to be more careful. Come.
Today's subject is the rules which govern social life. Who wants to read?
The others should listen carefuly. Well.
Doesn't anyone want to read?
The rules that regulate social life.
Society needs rules so that people can live in peace
in safety together.
These rules prevent
from acting selfishly within the society.
ln order to live together
in our society
are certain rules and restrictions.
lf we don't obey these rules
we must suffer the consequences.
These rules which regulate the society
may be written or unwritten.
Unwritten rules concern
customs and morals.
They take shape by themselves
and are passed down from generation to generation...
and are based on respect and..
lsmail. Take your seat, son.
Pinar. Now you continue reading.
Start reading where your friend has stopped.
The rest of you...
follow from the book.
l may ask any of you. Go on Pinar.
-The importance of solidarity in social life.
Solidarity means loyalty to one another regarding...
individual feelings, interests and thoughts.
The feeling... of belonging together...
People can not live alone
and meet their needs.
people always need each another.
We should help the poor...
as best we can...
either directly or through charities.
does not just mean giving money.
also need moral support.
During hard times..
comfort each other..
Everyone is responsible...
of the sorrow of others.
to a certain extent.
They do their best...
to make each other happy.
They experience joy together too...
and share it.
Shared joy and sorrow...
The problems that arise...
Such a bond
is called national unity.
Should we eat plums growing in the cemetery?
You are stepping on the grave.
What does it say here?
lt says what it says. Why do you care anyway?
You can read better if you outline it with a piece of red tile.
Won't its shell break? -No.
-Even if a car goes over it, it won't break.
They only die if you leave them upside down.
They can't turn themselves over again.
-Shall l ride on it, too? -Allright, but be careful.
-Come on, move.
lt is slippery.
lt really is strong.
Won't it poke its head out?
Won't it poke its legs out?
-lf it forgets about you it might. -How can it forget about me?
You must stand still for a long time.
A thorn pricked me.
Couldn't you find a better place than the grave to place it on?
Stop fidgeting. lt won't come out then.
What was that? -A rifle.
Father. They are coming.
Where have you been? You have lost track of time again.
We met a hunter by the cemetery. He knows father.
-That must be Huseyin. He hunts blackbirds there.
What he wants with those tiny birds l will never understarstand.
Didn't l tell you to come up directly. lt is nearly dark.
Don't trample the corn, child.
Come round the other way. You'll get shot one day.
But we cross the field without trempling the maize.
Don't exaggerate. Nothing will happen.
You never know son.
Corn fields are dangerous.
On just such an evening as this, ismail from...
Torhasan was lying in wait for wild boar and...
when he heard a rustling sound he pulled to trigger.
He looked. lt was Kasirahmet's son.
He was seriously injured and died on the way to the hospital.
You should avoid the fields. He was the same age as Ali.
You should stick to the road.
Has the tailor finished my trousers? -Yes. -Good.
-lt's 50 lira. -What? -He says he wants 50 lira.
50 lira? -50.
Did you have the hems put up? -Yeah.
Let him give me 50 lira, and he can keep the trouser.
All he did was turn up the legs and let out the waist.
You can't get anything altered anymore.
-Give the child 50 lira. -Don't be ridiculous.
So will the trouser stay there?
l've got no hair left. l went to the barber. He just cut twice.
And how much?
50 lira. lt's ridiculous.
l won't pay him 50.
As if he is selling a field to me. -This damned...
When l paid 20 lira for our house...
everyone said it was expensive. That was in nineteen...
When l was in America a dollar was less than one lira. - Ali, come!
-What is it? -Come here l say.
A skinny barber used to come to village...
in summer and in Winter.
He'd cut your hair for a couple of tomatoes.
He always thanked people.
l never heard him complain once.
Now the guy sits in his shop...
and you have to go to him. Two clicks and he wants 50 lira.
Who can afford it?
He just turned up hems and took in the waist a little.
How time has flown. l can hardly believe it.
We were much more energetic earlier.
l was young and strong then.
l was only 1 5. But the war was on, so who cared about age.
l, who had never been beyond the hills around the village...
found myself in lstanbul. They put us on a train at Sirkeci Station.
lt must be Haydarpasha Station. -lt was very crowdy.
Many guys who like me never had left their villages were there.
A Kurdish boy kept on following me.
l made friends with him. What was his name?
He was a bit simple but he had a good hearth.
-May God bless him if he's alive. -Where is Nusaybin?
-What? -ln lraq.
What happened then? -We set out for Mosul.
There was poverty in those parts.
We asked for food from the villagers but they just said ''maho''.
''Maho'' means ''nothing''.
We asked at other houses but it was again ''maho''.
The cherries are over early this year.
Not only the cherries, you know. Blackberries, too.
l was passing under the cherry tree yesterday..
and a sound came from above. -Was it a squirrel.
l thought so too
but it was a snake.
-Snake? What kind of snake? -A huge grey snake.
What it was doing up in the tree l can't imagine.
Everything is strange these days.
Even the walnuts don't ripen on time.
-The cranes don't come any longer. -Why?
-Don't know. The pesticides probably.
What happened then, father?
That damned cough. l can't get rid of it.
Where was l? -You had got to Mesopotamia, Baghdad.
Yeah. We came to that plain...
and crossed that long, desert-like plain...
and reached Kutulenmare...
near Baghdad. We were there.
We suddenly encountered the British.
We defeated them even though we were hungry and thirsty.
And do you know what happened next?
The English commander committed suicide. -He couldn't bear the defeat.
But when their reinforcements arrived, they beat us.
We could have won if we hadn't been starved.
Then we were taken prisoner.
They put us on a ship to lndia.
From Bombay we were taken by train to Semerpor.
We worked there as building labourers.
l was so weak that..
l couldn't even carry two bricks on my back.
Even that was too much.
The English guard kept shouting: ''Come on Joe, come on Joe.''
Actually, if we could feed ourselves properly we would...
wipe out the English. But we had no strength.
Most of us died of starvation or disease.
-Those damned jackals are down by the stream again.
They're cunning creatures. They hide during the day.
They must be hungry to come down to the stream.
Whether it was luck or fate which brought me back, l don't know.
l came back safely
but l had nothing.
What's there to do?
Perhaps it would have been better if you hadn't come back.
You returned and then what? Did you get a reward for it?
lt's all in vain. -Saffet.
l thought you were asleep.
What a way to talk, Saffet.
How can you think that way?
Homesickness is a suffering unlike any other.
Even if you starve it's still your homeland.
Look at Gobak lsmail. He worked in Germany for years but...
-Aunt. To be buried in your homeland...
or not, why should it matter, anyway?
No, you are young
and far from death. That's why you can talk like that.
What do you mean?
When death approaches you prepare yourself spiritually.
Otherwise it is unbearable. You must have faith.
lt is so difficult to be far from home.
and everywhwere you look are strangers.
-That's true. l don't even feel at home in the town.
-Who knows how l'd feel? So why go?
Whereever you go, it is.. the same sky, the same trees.
But still we dream about.. our own sky, our own trees.
Look! That dry tree over there is dead
but it still sways in the wind.
l believe that when we die we remain a part of..
life one way or another, just like that dry tree.
ln lndia my mother used to appear and smile at me.
l used to freeze with awe. l found out she died in those days.
-The thing called telepathy is .. -Some people feel like that..
lf your spirit is elsewhere you don't feel if you have a brother.
Maybe it's better this way.
Why better? -l don't know.
l don't want to stay here and rot.
While l was in the army l thought about that all the time.
People always discussed these matters.
l think these are all in vain. -Vain? Vain in what way?
What else is there to do?
-That's the law of nature. Only the strong survive.
We shouldn't waste our lives. We should work.
Grandfather has worked for years and what did he get?
Yes. That's right.
But what else can we do but work?
And what else do we do anyway? Look at my hands.
-We are so inadequate, and there is so much work to do.
lt is not likely to finish. -We should add new things.
Many legends arose from Mesopotamia, where civilization was born.
You were in some really important places, father.
ls it raining?
l don't think so.
-l felt a drop on my hand. -Stone carving.
What? -lt also began in Mesopotamia.
-Yes. That's right.
The cradle of civilization.
''La barceau de la civilisation'' in French.
Then, Babylon for instance.
Have you seen Babylon? -l have heard about it.
Babylon is very important.
That is where Alexander the Great died.
He conquered the world from end to end in his youth.
Dad, tell us how did they cross the river?
- Tell us about the elephants. -All right. Listen then.
Alexander comes to the river Hidaspes.
On the other side of the river is King Poros, with his army.
Alexander first builds his camp
and later splits his army into three..
And marches down the river with one part..
Poros' army was very strong because of the elephants.
Of course there were plenty battles. Four are important.
The first one was at.. Granicus in 334 BC.
Then at Pineros, which is called Delicay now..
somewhere around lskenderun.
And then the third on Gaugamela plain...
northeast of Mosul. Finally there was
the one against Poros.
l met a man from lskenderun, and asked him about Delicay.
He was amazed l had heard of Delicay.
But, didn't he win all the battles with his army?
No one remembers their names.
Only Alexander. -You are wrong.
Of course he needed his army,
but 2300 years ago to go on a campaign
and winning all battles under those circumstances isn't easy.
Do you think it is easy
to lead an army all that way for 1 3 years.
Sultan Selim couldn't even reach Caldiran
because his army rebelled against him.
-But why did he do it? Just to make history?
He invaded peaceful countries.
That's enough about Alexander.
-What's so special about this Alexander?
-People who don't know the past can't see the future.
We have many great commanders too. Fatih the Conquerer for instance.
Or Urukagina, that great Mesopotamian king.
What kind of name is that? -Urukagina. The king of Lagesh.
He appeared when the priests were exploiting the people.
And about invasions.
Alexander expanded civilization.
He built new cities, and...
brought cultures together.
The Persians had been making the Greeks suffer,
constantly attacking them.
First he dealt with the attacks.
He wanted to conquer Egypt so that...
Get down, mother.
He reached the Gedrozia Desert in southern Pakistan.
lt was a terrible place almost impossible to cross.
Only 1 2.000 men survived out of 60.000.
Some of them died of thirst
and some of starvation.
They were so hungry they ate their horses.
Exhausted they struggle across that endless desert.
Then they saw flocks of crows flying through the empty sky.
They thought that the crows were flying to a water source.
After they struggled for some time...
they saw something like water.
First they thought it was a mirage.
Suddenly they saw
water in the middle of the desert.
One soldier walked towards the water, and ..
-Son! Forget about other people's troubles
and let's worry about us.
l'm still grieving for my poor son's death.
But there is nothing we can do about it.
He was always reckless and he never liked working.
He insisted on going away and we couldn't stop him.
And he loved you a lot, Saffet. -What kind of love was it?
lt was my mother who brought me up. What did he do?
He wasn't here when we were in trouble.
He visited us once or twice a year.
-Am l right? -And you take after him.
You want to go, too.
You've turned out to be a rebellious lad.
You still haven't got a proper job.
l can't understand why you resigned
from the registry office? -l changed jobs.
l was condemned to work all my life. lt was too much.
-l know the registrar. He's a fine man.
Yes, he is really an easy going man.
lf you can't get along with him, there's no one you could.
He said you're here for the sake of your grandfather
otherwise l would have flown away.
l told him he overestimated.. my abilities to fly.
-And what did he say? -''Take the mister away.''
We arranged all possible jobs for you in the town.
Either you were fired or you quit.
You went into the army but it didn't make a man of you.
What else can we do?
What do you want?
l want to tell you this. Yes. Maybe l am a looser.
You are fed up with me being discontented.
l think l've got no talent for anything.
My youth is being wasted like a useless cigarette end.
l've got no home, no friends, no job.
l wasted my best years stuck in this town.
My manhood and my heart are melting away before my eyes.
Let me add this, too.
l thought of nothing but leaving this town before military service.
On that particular morning..
l felt there were deeper ties binding me to this town.
There was the scent of pines in the air.
That day l felt
l saw the pines and the oaks for the first time.
So early in the morning, there are usually..
only stray dogs out in the streets, wandering aimlessly.
l love these quiet mornings, the dogs, the smell of the soil.
l don't understand the people's petty concerns.
l find them alien and offensive.
Now tell me. What's wrong with wanting
to go to some place where.. something serious is going on?
Mother do you remember
when l was at highschool we were living in that damp basement?
One night he suddenly came. We were very poor, then.
We were eating the provisions from the village.
We used to secretly collect pieces of soap.
We were eating porridge when there was a knock at the door.
lt was him. -ls there any corn left, grandma?
Well dressed as usual.
He came inside..
and saw the porridge on the crooked table.
Turning up his nose he said.. -Son, stop
''What's that? Are you eating wheat porridge?''
Emin! Stop it!
He was an interesting man.
He lived and died.
without ever getting tired, carrying any burden.
-You have contributed, and look what happened?
You had a channel built and now the villagers talk about you.
-l don't care what the villagers say.
Whenever l go
past that channel l feel very proud.
Didn't your field happen to be at the end of the channel?
Wasn't your goal to bring water to your field?
Didn't it make all the valley get greener?
A channel with no water. -Even so, it doesn't matter.
Even this small sapling has...
wonders of nature
hidden in it. Look at these branches.
A new branch every year. This one is short because it rained less.
Nature holds the answer to all our questions.
You have to feel yourself as part of the whole.
Your father abandoned this place.
Let's get somethings straight.
Not everyone is lucky enough to go to college.
Luck? You call this luck?
What else could have my father done?
You feel strong.
But the reality is that you have to live in the town.
There is nothing but the trees.
Maybe he was right. -Listen.
-When your father left... -He was your brother.
You played together in these meadows.
You have laughed in the same streets.
But l haven't once heard you say anything good about him.
People should have a little compassion or tenderness.
How can you be so distant and insensitive.?
But Saffet, what about ..
Why l'm the only one suffering for my father's faults?
Aren't you his relatives, too?
Why am l the only one suffering?
-Saffet, son .. -How can you shrug off...
responsibilty like water off a duck's back?
What makes you think that?
Maybe l'm ignorant. l don't know about Alexander...
But what use is knowledge if you don't share it?
lt's not enough to read books.
Did you learn all that for yourself alone?
Now this is absurd. What do you know?
lt's easy to talk and hard to do anything.
l started with nothing.
l was determined to study and l never gave up.
l went to school on a donkey back all winter.
l know what l went through.
l worked in the fields. Do you think it was easy?
l worked hard on my own and made it into university.
My back saw its first coat at the university
l learned English by myself, and went to America.
And how did l do all this? While the others discussed..
football matches all night. What was your father doing then?
Dressed in fancy clothes he was running around after deputies.
Yes, maybe l live a secluded life
and my best friends are my books.
l don't believe in people anymore.
Only in nature.
Your father thought l had wasted my life.
He used to tell people l didn't know how to live.
lsn't there any corns left? -No.
Dad. Shall we go and pick some corn?
Why do you stare at me like that? -Nothing.
Stop crying, woman.
Now why did you bring up the subject again?
Do you think you are perfect?
Saffet, you've got the same troubles as your father.
You still haven't got a proper job.
Now your military service is over, make up your mind.
Get married and have kids.
You are the only person in our village who has gone to college.
You went abroad, learnt foreign languages.
but in the end you came back and settled here.
Didn't you study to get away from these fields?
l don't understand what all that education was for.
One of us is under the earth, and..
that's where we are all destined for.
l have an absolute faith in God, but we come and we go.
Where is my mother, father and uncles? They have all gone.
We're all older now.
But why does God take away an innocent child's life?
What sin could a two year old child have committed?
Take Kezban's child, for instance.
-No one can know.
No one but God.
We shouldn't know everything.
Just know what you need that's enough.
What's the point in knowing more?
God gave us two ears instead of four.
Because you can hear with two ears, too.
Yes woman, we've lost our son but
it is the will of God. There are good days and bad days.
When l came back from lndia
l was totaly exhausted.
While l was shivering on the ship's deck l was thinking.
lf l ever reached my country, l would never be
unhappy again as long as l had a shelter and food.
We got home, but the place was in ruins.
The war had affected these places too.
My fiancee had given me up and married someone else.
She even had a child.
Now l'm a farmer.
So what? lt's all right.
But l don't want to die, you know.
l hope God let's me live another 20 years at least.
-You have to live and eat healthily like the Americans.
-To cut a long story, l've had good times and bad times.
You should alwayd have hope. -You will outlive us all, father.
You can see the state l am in.
My mouth shakes and my left eye twiches.
But the worst of all is trying to sleep.
Just as l start to fall asleep, suddenly
l get a pain in my right side.
Then the pain moves up to my head
and l have terrible headaches.
-Age brings its aches and pains.
But l still want to carry on living.
At least 20 more years.
Can you hear music?
-Father is right. When my mother died l thought l couldn't bear it.
But now l can hardly remember her face.
But when l was pregnant l felt something l had never before.
l don't exactly know. May be a wish for goodness?
As if l had realised what life was about.
-Soon no one will even visit our graves.
-Change your pillow, father.
Use a thick wooden rolling pin like the Japanese do.
Right under your neck.
Most headaches are coused by the nerves at the back of the neck.
-Last year when the fire broke out l ran home.
l was so relieved to see it wasn't at our house.
Ali and Asiye were watching the fire with the...
looks of horror, panic and pleading on their faces.
lt scared me to see them like that.
l thought these kids will see so much throughout their lives.
All the people were running around shouting.
And that imploring look on the children's faces.
l couldn't get it out of my mind.
Mother! At which direction lies lndia?
-Don't know. This way l think.
-You mean, towards Yenice? -l guess so.
That's east, isn't it? -Then it is over the mountains.
-Yeah. l think so.
lf she had had the title deeds made out in her name
while her husband was alive she wouldn't be penniless now.
She asked if l had any laundry to be done.
-Who? -Your wife.
l said there are only those that l am wearing.
She didn't offer to wash those.
So l didn't take them off. l dumped them in a bag.
Maybe l should have a few deeds made out in my name.
Asiye, are you asleep my lamb?
l was going to ask you to massage my shoulders.
You carry on sleeping.
My head is aching again. lt is keeping me awake.
Nuri! Come and massage it for me.
Massage my shoulders a bit.
This damned pain. Why is it tormenting me like this.
My neck feels like a block of wood.
l'd like to chop it off.
Wait. Let me tie this.
Do you want me to press it? -Look.
This pain is like a weather forecast.
Let me sit down and rest for a moment.
Are the children in bed? -They are.
They didn't finish eating the melon.
l didn't take it in. They can eat it when they wake up.
God preserve us.
For my Mother and Father...
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