Reha Erdem & Kosmos

Reha has recently become a major player in new Turkish cinema. His career began in 1988 with the release of his first feature film A ay. The film had a limited festival run with minor acclaim. After it’s release Reha spent eleven years struggling to find funding for his next picture. He found himself doing technical work on television series and commercials. In 1999 Reha and his long time friend/producerÖmer Atay finally received funding for their pictureA Run for Money. Reha was discouraged. The film achieved minimal international success, but Omer continued to push Reha. In 2006 his film Times and Winds opened at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was a huge success. Suddenly international distributors were fighting for distribution rights. Erdem demonstrated a significant change of style and pace in 2008 with his film My Only Sunshine. A considerably more difficult film told through the eyes of an abused young woman. The film traveled around the world, introducing a larger audience to Erdem’s work. Reha is now back doing rounds in the festival circuits with his latest picture Kosmos.

Kosmos is the story of a healer who appears in a small artic town. The audience is told virtually nothing about his past. When Kosmos appears, he seeks love. The object of his affection is local girl that seems to share a similar a mating call. He resides in an abandoned warehouse, when offered work as a laborer Kosmos declines. Instead he decides to support himself and a series of less fortunate towns people by stealing from local shops. Kosmos meets a young mute boy. After a brief encounter with Kosmos the boy is cured. Shortly after others line up outside his warehouse looking to be cured of illness and injury. In an attempt to avoid the crowds Kosmos flees his warehouse and runs into the boy he cured. The two play out in a large open field, but after a sudden turn of events things turn sour.

Similar to My Only Sunshine, Kosmos is a very transcendental film. Both leads are faced with a great deal of emotional turmoil. Contrary to the imagery, guns, bombs and sirens can be heard in the distance when both characters are left to battle interpersonal wars. Akin to Michelangelo Antonioni’s late work, the scenery in which Reha’s characters interact is equally as important as the characters themselves. In Kosmos, Erdem creates a surreal sci-fi world that heavily relies on the films sound mix and rhythmic pace. Surroundings that otherwise would look familiar, become foreign when mixed with muffled analog buzzing and bizarre room tones. Like it or not, this is a picture that lingers with it’s viewers.

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