6 user 6 critic

Kasaba (1997)

The story of a family living in a small godforsaken town in Turkey seen through the eyes of children and dealing with the growing complexity when one becomes an adult.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan


Emin Ceylan (story), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


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Sinai returns from his study in the city of Canakkale to his parents' home in the small rural town of Can. He hopes to publish a book of essays and short stories. But his teacher father ... See full summary »

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Cast overview:
Mehmet Emin Toprak ... Saffet (as M. Emin Toprak)
Havva Saglam Havva Saglam ... Asiye
Cihat Bütün Cihat Bütün ... Ali
Fatma Ceylan Fatma Ceylan ... Nine
Emin Ceylan Emin Ceylan ... Dede (as M. Emin Ceylan)
Sercihan Alevoglu Sercihan Alevoglu ... Father - Baba (as Sercihan Alioglu)
Semra Yilmaz Semra Yilmaz ... Mother - Anne
Latif Altintas Latif Altintas ... Teacher - Ögretmen
Muzaffer Özdemir ... Deli Ahmet


The story of a family living in a small godforsaken town in Turkey seen through the eyes of children and dealing with the growing complexity when one becomes an adult.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

28 November 1997 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

The Small Town See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

NBC Ajans See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The battle described by the grandfather, known to the British as "Defence of Kut Al Amara", took place between December 1915 and April 1916. British troops were besieged in the town of Kut and eventually had to surrender when relief forces could not reach them. However, the British commander did not commit suicide as the grandfather says, but was imprisoned for the remainder of the war. It is possible that the grandfather was captured at the Second Battle of Kut, won by the British forces. See more »


Ismail arrives at class and enters through a door where the floor is wet and and has small patches of snow. When another student goes to close the door, the floor is now dry. See more »


Followed by Clouds of May (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

conjured up some other movies even if it seems like a different unique Turkish movie.
8 May 2006 | by elsinefiloSee all my reviews

Nuri Bilge Ceylan,the rising star of the Turkish cinema is surely a talent.I've been longing to see a movie by him for a long time.And this happened to be the first movie I found the opportunity to watch.This was one of those short(exactly 82 min)sweet movies about life.It has a bit of a traditional tissue in it.It's just like watching an American movie like "Garden State" or the "Station Agent". The plot and the setting is totally different but the feeling you got is similar.The movie is seen from the perspective of two kids in four somewhat interrelated scenes.In the first part we see a school environment in winter in which the kids are hailing out the national pledge in the cold school garden.We see the the family's 11 year old daughter as a pupil "facing with her feeling of shame and some merciless clues of life " in that scene this is obvious but what is more catching is that the teacher wants the students to read some part from a text-book about community-specifically the sense of belonging to a community-the need to belong to some social unit.The kids just read the passage without making sense of what is written there.You see Turkey revolutionized its alphabet from Arabic to Roman letters but basically there's still a "maktap literacy" going on in these traditional distant state schools.The kids do probably know something about human beings' social needs but they don't necessarily pay attention to the passage they're studying in theory. The second part is in spring. We see the girl with her 4 year younger brother, and their wandering towards the corn field where their family are waiting for them.They just drop in a graveyard to eat some plums.There is something inter-cultural here too.When her brother tries to reach the plums on the branch his sister says "Hey you're stomping at the grave" The adults in Anatolia scare their kids with a warning in such situations "Hey the dead will inhale you" This innocent tell-off results from the respect for the dead actually.This part has the least number of dialogs actually.While the siblings are discovering mysteries of nature they barely talk and the director turns his camera into nature.Even at one point he focuses on the eyes of a helpless donkey badgered by flies.In the third part the brother and sister arrive at the corn filed where the some sort of a bonfire is lit and the grandmother's are roasting maize cobs.The grandfather tells his experiences during the First World War, how he was taken prisoner by the British and sent to India, how he endured years of starvation. This is the nature of the old Anatolian man.Whenever they see a youngster they just think that they live in a tacky world so they tell how they suffered.While the grand-dad is such a spiritually mature man in consequence of his early sufferings the father of the kids is the only educated man in the family.He sort of had difficulties to educate himself he even taught himself foreign languages.But even though he is strong in analytical thought he has barely spiritual weltanschauung.He is a great admirer of Alexander and he tells about every war Alexander did wage.And then there is this cousin Saffet who is gritty nihilist."You worked all your life so what?" You just came back to the point where you started?"Even though he is coarse and ironic he is the most realistic one actually.The fourth part takes place at home.It ends with a placid river scene actually. As for the technical details.The movie is openly monochrome.The DVD details say the director wanted something simple so he used simple cameras and most of the cast are either his relatives or his acquaintances actually. At some points I thought there could have been more dialogs.Because while the second part has barely a flowing dialog the third part is inundated with dialogs.(The grandfather's war experiences and the father's Alexander admiration).Plus Nuri Bilge Ceylan's camera technique focusing on nature looks like Elem Klimov's strategy in Idi i smotri(Come and See)(1985).I had felt bored because of this lack of dialogs and excessiveness of such camera angles in Come and See. But since Kasaba is not that long it's better but if it were longer it would be definitely boring.All in all it was a good step for me to know Nuri Bilge Ceylan's art.

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