Beyond the Hill | Chicago Reader

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90 minutes

With its stunning Anatolian landscapes, arty photography, and pregnant silences, this debut feature by writer-director Emin Alper initially recalls the work of Nuri Bilge Ceylan; but as the story unfolds, Alper distinguishes himself as his own artist, pushing the narrative into the realm of allegory with elemental characterization and blatantly symbolic imagery. This takes place on a remote farm where a retired former urbanite lives with a couple of rural farmhands. Around the time he receives a visit from his professor son and two grandchildren, one of them an ex-soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress, the old man begins to suspect a group of indigenous nomads of tampering with his land. The nomads never appear onscreen, though the ex-soldier's hallucinations do; even more tantalizing is a last-minute comic flourish that throws into question everything that's come before. In Turkish with subtitles.

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