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'Midnight Express' team to watch film with Turkish prisoners

ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency | 5/20/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The team of the film 'Midnight Express' will be the guest of the 47th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

The team of the Oscar-winning film “Midnight Express,” which is known by Turkish audiences for negatively depicting prison conditions in the country, will be a guest of Antalya’s 47th Golden Orange Film Festival.

The filmmakers have been invited to watch the film with prisoners in a Turkish prison.

Speaking last week about the issue, Antalya Metropolitan Mayor Mustafa Akaydın said the scriptwriter Oliver Stone and director Alan Parker were invited to the festival, as well as Billy Hayes, the source of inspiration for the film, which is based on a book he wrote.

“The interaction between the art of cinema and the country’s image is one of the issues that will be evaluated with the theme of this year’s festival, ‘Cinema and Social Interaction.’ ‘Midnight Express’ is a symbolic film, and this is why we have decided to invite its team. They accepted our invitation and will be our guests,” he said.

Akaydın said the team would watch the film for the first time in the garden of a prison and talk to prisoners. “We will take them to the L-type prison in Döşemealtı. They will watch one of the festival movies with prisoners in the garden. They will closely see the conditions of the prison. At the same time, we will take advantage of the magic power of art for the social rehabilitation of prisoners.”

The 1978 film “Midnight Express,” featuring the narcotics smuggler Billy Hayes’ story in a Turkish prison in an exaggerated way, won Oscars in 1979 for Best Music and Best Writing.

The film caused reaction when it was first released in Turkey in 1993. It deviates from the book’s accounts of the story, especially in its portrayal of Turks, and many criticized the movie, including Hayes himself.

Later, both Stone and Hayes expressed their regret for how Turkish people were portrayed in the movie.



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