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Fratricide (Unrated)





Release Date: August 23rd, 2006 (Film Forum) by Koch/Lorber Films.
The Cast: Xevat Gectan, Erdal Celik, Nurretin Celik, Bulent Buyukasik, Xhiljona Ndoja, Taies Farzan, Oral Uyan, Yusuf Gectan.
Directed by Yilmaz Arslan.
In Kurdhish, German and Turkish with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: After witnessing the brutal stabbing of a Turkish man, Azad (Erdal Celik) and Ibo (Gectan), young Kurdish refugees, protect themselves from a Turkish gang who set out to get revenge.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Fratricide portrays the violent conflicts between the Kurds and the Turks with stark realism. Azad, a teenager, receives money from his older brother, Semo (Nurretin Celik), and uses it to visit him there. Upon his arrival, he stays at an orphanage rather than joining Semoís lifestyle as a pimp. He befriends an 11-year-old boy named Ibo and, soon enough, they both work as barbers in the back of a cafť. In a catalytic scene, they witness Semo brutally stabbing a Turkish man in his stomach while the manís dog finishes the killing in a shockingly gruesome manner. From this point on, Azad and Ibo go through a slippery slope of escalating paranoia and violence while they try to escape the manís Turkish brother and his tough gang who set out to even the scoreóeven though Semo gets thrown in jail early on. What makes this film more than just your average revenge film is the natural, convincing performances, by the young actors, particularly by Erdal Celik as Azad. In a powerful scene, Azad begs for forgiveness from the victimís family. He treats Ibo with brotherly love and does everything in his might to protect him from further harm after he gets briefly raped. A romance between him and an older girl at the orphanage seems a bit contrived, though, and could have been fleshed out a little more. Nonetheless, writer/director Yilmaz Arslan does a great job of taking a simple plot full of tension and makes it engrossing through its complex, true-to-life characters.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The conflicts between Azad and the Turkish gang represent a microcosm not just for violent conflicts between Kurds and Turks but between any nationalities who donít get along. Any attempts to avoid violence, such as by begging for forgiveness, seem futile as shown by the inevitable, depressing yet emotionally powerful and haunting ending.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A contrived romantic subplot.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1

IN A NUTSHELL: Engrossing, powerful and haunting.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)


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