Isa is beaten up after being accused of stealing $50. When his landlord demands the back rent, Isa gets angry and shoots him. The police round up the tenants, but are not suspicious of him.... See full summary »
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A dowdy university instructor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior.
Extending the notion of imprisonment, explored in his previous movies, Zeki Demirkubuz's ITIRAF (CONFESSION) looks at emotional imprisonment through the portrayal of Harun (Taner Birsel), an Ankara office- worker with a pathological inability to admit the truth about himself to himself.
As he drives along anonymous roads, his side profile framed in close-up, his face remains expressionless, almost as if trying to maintain a respectable facade. Demirkubuz regularly employs this shot to summarize the monotony of his existence; he travels from place to place without ever attaining emotional or physical satisfaction.
As the action begins, we understand that he is acting strangely, as he leaves his hotel room late at night to return home to his wife Nermin (Basak Köklükaya), and subsequently pretends to be sleeping when she returns home. Although well-liked in the office, especially by colleague Süha (Iskender Altin), he never has sufficient confidence in his friend to be able to admit anything. Instead he tries to pass the time by phoning Nermin and then not saying anything.
Perhaps his discomfort is due to jealousy. In an uncomfortably long sequence taking place at the family apartment, we are led to believe that this is so as Harun vents his frustration, Othello-like, on the hapless Nermin. Alternately violent yet crying like a child, he cannot forgive her for her apparent infidelity. As the sequence unfolds, however, we discover that both of them have a past that neither of them really wants to talk about involving their mutual friend Taylan (who never appears in the film but only as a photograph), an unfortunate victim who committed suicide as a result. This is the "confession" that neither Harun nor Nermin can make; to admit to themselves their culpability in causing this tragedy.
In an attempt to expiate himself, Harun visits Taylan's family in rural Anatolia, but gets brutally told to "piss off" by Taylan's mother (Gulgun Kutlu), and attacked by one of her sons. He returns to Süha's house, and Demirkubuz cuts to a close-up of blood oozing out of Harun's foot. This is a metaphor of the central character's state of mind; he not only has blood on his hands but blood on his feet also.
ITIRAF comes to a sort of conclusion, but it's clear that Harun has not learned anything as a result. He still remains fundamentally self-centered, a prisoner of his narcissism. By comparison with Demirkubuz's earlier work, the film is much more violent, as it suggests that the darkness surrounding people living in the contemporary Republic of Turkey is as much mental as well as physical.
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