Film on legendary singer Müslüm Gürses comes to screen
“He was always afraid of being a father as he did not want to be a father like his. He thought the monster inside him would revive and feared he would be a father like his father,” said Uslu.
“Hakan Kırvavaç, known as Ketche, directed filming in Adana and Can Ulkay directed filming in Istanbul. It was necessary for the film because Müslüm Gürses’s life has two parts, one in Adana and Istanbul. Life is darker and brutal in one of them. When he comes to Istanbul, everything is more beautiful. He meets love. He falls in love and everything becomes more colorful. It was obviously very good to change directors in this sense,” he said.
Uslu said the film had cost 17 million Turkish Liras and shooting was finished in 28 weeks.
The production took 2.5 years from start to end, said the producer.
“We worked with a team of 127 people in about six and a half months. There were art and costume groups. Costumes are special to those years. We went to the 1970-1980s and even until 1967. Then from the 1990s to the 2000s. The costume design was done accordingly. A lot of archival research was carried out. The preliminary investigation of the film was also done in detail,” he said.
“When we were making the film, we did not want to harm the character for whom we made the movie just because we were going to show the facts. We were very careful about it. We worked hard on the historical reality of every topic we were interested in. We created a separate team of three people. This team went to Bursa, Tarsus and Adana, and spoke with live witnesses. They interviewed them and made additions to the script,” said Uslu.
Life of drama
“On the contrary, we softened some of the drama because Müslüm Gürses’s life was unreal and no one would believe it. He could not hear out of his right ear. He could not smell. He was stabbed by a fan at his own concert. He lost his whole family. He really had an incredible life. We did not need to do anything extra. We have tried to reflect his dramatic life onscreen with the most modern expression language,” he said.
“Steven Spielberg says, ‘If you make a real life story, it should be based on facts and to put your hero at the end of the film. We wanted Gürses to be in his own film. And we were lucky with it. In a commercial we had previously done with him, he did not know the camera was recording and this image was very good for the film. We created and used a space according to the angles of the image. I believe it is very beautiful. I think we greeted him from this scene,” said Uslu.
‘He buttoned up his jacket before his fans only’
Uslu said he respected Gürses’s attitude toward life.
“We learn every detail while making his real life story. Gürses received many invitations from state officials. He did not accept them. I found it very interesting and asked Muhterem Nur about it. The answer was very clear: He did not like to button up his jacket. He did it only before his fans. He had never been in any political situation. He lived as an artist and died as an artist,” he said.
Gürses always improved himself and embraced a mass of people who did not listen to him, the producer said.
“It was a good thing she gave us the right to shoot the film. If she had not given us this right, he could have been forgotten. It is not easy to forget him but now we have a masterpiece of Müslüm Gürses,” said Uslu, speaking of the support from Gürses’s wife Muhterem Nur.
He said there were three breaking points in Gürses’s life.
“Instead of being a bad person like his father, Gürses followed the path of music and never became a bad person. I ask young people to watch the film from this point of view. They should pursue their own truths and goals. Gürses did it without any opportunities but today’s young people have many opportunities like state support, conservatories and education institutions,” said the producer.
Gürses, widely known as “Müslüm Father” (Müslüm Baba), died at the age of 59 on March 3, 2013, leaving his fans and many memorable songs behind, after having lost the battle for his life after nearly four months.