Intervista a Ferzan Ozpeteck

by Fabio Marzari | :venews

Ferzan OzpetekInterview with Ferzan Ozpetek, whose film Saturno contro has recently opened in high street cinemas, is a talented director, one who has no fear of transmitting real emotions to the audience.

His concept of cinema contains the idea of a “shift”, and the vital urgency of change.
His characters thus set out on an interior journey that compels them to visit the most hidden and unexpected recesses of their memory, their past and their personality, in a continuous series of reflections. Saturno contro is a highly successful example of a film demonstrating the concerted effort of a team.

What is your secret?

I think that the secret is being willing to put myself at stake at all times. Saturno contro does not narrate the story of a character in relationship to a group: it is about the group itself.
A group of forty year-olds bound by close, intense friendships, in which they have to face themes such as separation, friendship and love.

The Zeitgeist that can be seen in Saturno corresponds to highly topical social problems.

The “spirit of the age” has an important, but indirect, influence. When I begin talking about a film with Gianni Romoli, we never start from topical themes, but rather from an emotion, a memory.
I am not interested in transmitting messages. In my film, I talk about the feelings that bring human beings together. Particularly the feelings of weaker individuals. I am moved by fragile people.

What does your homeland Turkey represent for you?

Turkey is a nation rife in contradiction. Istanbul is a city that is culturally twenty years ahead of Rome or Milan, but you just have to travel for ten kilometres and you apparently go back forty years. For example, law number 301 on freedom of speech is still in force, which is a very serious matter, but no-one is doing anything about this.
I owe a lot to my country: I grew up hearing the bells of the churches and the call of the muezzin, in a blend of cultures and religions.

Will we ever see a film by you based on a novel by Orhan Pamuk, Nobel prizewinner for literature?

I know Pamuk very well. We have plans to write a screenplay from Snow, the story of a poet who, after twelve years’ exile in Germany, returns to Istanbul and travels to a city in the province of Anatolia, Kars, where the contradictions between modern, secular Turkey and its deep Islamic roots are very strong. But for the moment, this is just a project.
We will have to wait and see…

Do you plan on taking part in a few festivals, such as Venice or Rome?

I am generally rather nervous about festivals. I prefer visiting Venice without fears of the lion and its roars. However I think that in any case it is a good thing that there are two such important festivals in Italy, perhaps because it is always best, in life, to have more than one: two husbands, two wives, two countries, two languages.
I think of my mother, who, when her first husband died, said to me: I have lost the man I loved. And, seeing my surprise - because I imagined that she loved my father, her second husband - she explained: what’s wrong, can’t you love two people at the same time?

di Fabio Marzari
:venews aprile 2007
Tr. Henry Neuteboom

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