Abu Dhabi crowns ‘Purgatory’

Abu Dhabi crowns ‘Purgatory’

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Abu Dhabi crowns ‘Purgatory’

Actress Neslihan Atagul poses during the photocall of "Araf (Araf-Somewhere in between)" during the 69th Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2012 at Venice Lido. AFP photo

Turkish director Yeşim Ustaoğlu’s new film, “Araf” (Purgatory), has received the best movie award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, beating out a series of international contenders.

The film competed with movies such as Kirill Serebrennikov’s “Betrayal,” Michael Winterbottom’s “Everyday,” Sally Potter’s “Ginger and Rosa,” Pablo Larrain’s “No,” Takeshi Kitano’s “Outrage Beyond,” François Ozon’s “In the House,” Nouri Bouzid’s “Hidden Beauties,” Manoel de Oliveira’s “Gebo and the Shadow” and Susanne Bier’s “Ladies Only Screening: Love Is All You Need,” at the sixth Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

The movie also received the “Black Pearl” award at the festival.

Turkish actress Neslihan Atagül has received the Best Actress of the Present and Future Award at Moscow’s 2morrow Film Festival for her role in “Araf.”

Atagül received the award for her portrayal of the character Zehra, competing in the category against Isabelle Huppert and Alexandra Dahlström. “Araf” itself also received positive feedback at the film festival and from the jury, which included Marianne Slot, producer of Lars Von Trier’s movies, as well as Claudia Lansberger and Marit Kaplan.

“Araf” is a story about people caught between a despairing present and the promise of a free future. The movie follows Zehra and Olgun, two young souls trying to break away from a vicious cycle of dysfunctional families and small-town lethargy. Yet the escape they choose in order to change their destinies will lead to unforeseen consequences.

Zehra and Olgun are confined to a daily routine, working double shifts at a motorway service station. Olgun is deeply in love with Zehra, yet she seems indifferent to his feelings. Outside work, they take refuge in TV-fuelled dreams of a better future and of becoming famous and rich. Their lives are turned upside down when Zehra meets a taciturn truck driver, Mahur, with whom she starts a secret love affair. Olgun, meanwhile, faces a deeper quandary as he tries to cope with the painful truth.