Turkish short film on threatened ruins to play in Spain

Turkish short film on threatened ruins to play in Spain

MUĞLA – Doğan News Agency
Turkish short film on threatened ruins to play in Spain

Clocking in at just eight minutes, Yavuz Pullukçu’s film, “Latmos Documentary,” isn’t particularly long, but the 27-year-old İzmirian director is hoping his short film makes a big impact at a Spanish film festival come April to help save the ancient city of Latmos and its surrounding nature.

“With this film, our goal is to say ‘stop this damage’ against a history of 7,000 years and nature,” he said.

The history of the 7,000 year-old ancient city of Latmos, located on the Latmos (Beşparmak) Mountain in the western province of Muğla’s Milas district, is one of 15 films that have been selected for the finals of the Lanzarote Film Festival, which will run between April 15 and 18 in Spain’s Canary Islands. The documentary, which reveals how nature has been damaged in the area and the plea of locals for mining activity to stop, was chosen from among 5,867 films from 56 countries. 

Yavuz Pullukçu said the film was previously selected as one of the top five documentaries at the 100 Words Film Festival held in North Carolina.

“The film was also shown at the International İzmir Film Festival last November. We worked in the rough geography of Latmos under difficult conditions and documented the damage caused by mines. We also documented the rock tombs along Lake Bafa, frescoes, prehistoric wall paintings, endemic plants, ancient roads and sacred places,” the director said.


Locals forced to migrate 

Pullukçu said the documentary transported the problems of locals, who were forced to migrate because of mining in the area, to the international area.

“The grandchildren of Latmos’ locals have been encouraged to sell their houses and leave the town by mines. We had a chance to talk to locals during seven days of shootings. Some villagers work for the mines. These families sold their houses and bought trucks [to engage in mining work]. This is why they are not in favor of the closure of mines. On the other hand, there are villagers who have reacted against the loss of their homeland with a silent scream,” the director said. 

Yavuz Pullukçu said he would improve the short documentary this year. “Latmos is a very important region that needs to be accorded national park status and included on UNESCO’s [World Heritage List]. It is under the threat of mine pits. It is described as a core region due to the works initiated by nongovernmental organizations. Even though it has been taken under protection with a decision by the Aydın Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board, current mines are still operating there, and its surroundings are still open to new mines. The documentary aims to raise awareness.” 

The director made the film with a production team under the consultancy of Kuşadası Ecosystem Protection and Nature Lovers Association Chair Bahattin Sürücü.

Hasan Cüneyt Bozkurt wrote the script for the documentary; Baran Vardar directed the photography, while Yağız Pullukçu worked as the assistant director for the film.