by Reha Erdem
Country: Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria
Year: 2008
Duration: 121'

Fourteen-year-old Hayat lives in Istanbul in an all-male family with whom she has problem communicating. Her father is a fisherman who is involved in illegal trafficking on the Bosporus. Her grandfather suffers from asthma and is completely dependent on her granddaughter, who neglects school in order to take care of him and thus has no friends. In order to escape her solitude, Hayat takes refuge in a world of her own, in which the city and the sea become her only companions. But then one day her father doesn’t return home and the girl is forced to face reality.

“For me, the most appealing aspect of this project is that the film considers Istanbul for the first time from the sea; that it conceives of Istanbul as a city on the water. […] Like all big cities, Istanbul is harsh. Above all, when viewed from the water it is a brutal city that can completely enslave you; that can intoxicate with its beauty one minute and plunge you into melancholy the next, delivering a resounding slap of heartless indifference. The film sets out to present Istanbul in these colours, as seen from the sea.”


film director

Reha Erdem

Reha Erdem (Istanbul, Turkey, 1960) graduated from the Cinema Department of Paris 8 University. He obtained his MA in Plastic Arts at the same university. He shot his first feature-length film Oh Moon in 1989 as a French-Turkish co-production. He shot A Run for Money in 1999; the film screened at several international film festivals such as Munich, Thessaloniki and Tokio. He directed Mommy, I’m Scared in 2004 and Times and Winds, that screened as an international preview at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006 and won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Golden Tulip at the International Istanbul Film Festival. He also directed a theatrical play, Maids (Les Bonnes) by Jean Genet.


A ay (Oh Moon, 1989), Kaç para kaç (A Run for Money, 1999), Insan nedir ki (Mommy, I’m Scared, 2004), Bes vakit (Times and Winds, 2006), Hayat var (My Only Sunshine, 2008).


& Credits

regia, sceneggiatura, montaggio, suono/director, screenplay, film editing, sound
Reha Erdem
Florent Herry
scenografia/production design
Ömer Atay
costumi/costume design
Mehtap Tunay
Orhan Gencebay
interpreti e personaggi/cast and characters
Elit Iscan (Hayat), Erdal Besikçioglu (il padre/Father), Levend Yilmaz (il nonno/Grandfather), Banu Fotocan (Anne), Handan Karaadam (Kamile), Nebil Sayn (Adam)
Ömer Atay
produzione, vendita all’estero/production, world sales
Atlantik Film
Cinegram, Kaboal