Documentary movie on Turkish ‘Robinson Granny’ wins awards

Documentary movie on Turkish ‘Robinson Granny’ wins awards

Documentary movie on Turkish ‘Robinson Granny’ wins awards

A documentary movie about the extraordinary and challenging life story of a senior woman in the Black Sea highlands has been awarded eight prizes in international film festivals in Turkey, the United States, Germany and Italy.

The movie titled “The Unknown Story of Fatma Kayacı” tells the life of an 88-year-old resident, locally known as “Robinson Granny” because she lived alone for 38 years despite the harsh winter conditions in the highlands in Turkey’s north.

The movie on the 88-year-old resident of the Black Sea province of Trabzon’s Tonya district is directed by filmmakers Nurdan Tekeoğlu and Orhan Tekeoğlu and supported by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Speaking to Demirören News Agency (DHA), Kayacı said that she was very proud and happy.

A tragic event that took place nearly 40 years ago pushed the old woman into a lonely and isolated life. Kayacı found her poor-healthy 14-year-old nephew’s dead body when she returned home from the highlands in 1984.

She was torn down after the death of her nephew, who was buried in a plateau, and she did not want to return to her village after this incident despite the insistence of her relatives. Later, Kayacı made an isolated and deserted plateau her home.

Eventually, the Tekeoğlu couple made a documentary on the life of Kayacı, who has been living alone 2,000 meters above sea level for decades. The 40-minute film was released in 2020 and was staged at various festivals.

In the documentary the couple shot in about a month, Kayacı was in front of the camera and talked about the difficult life and her daily struggle to survive on the plateau.

“The documentary of my life alone in the highlands won an award. I had a cow when the documentary was shot. Now I only have cats and dogs. I am proud that the documentary won an award,” Kayacı said.

Among the awards won by the film is the Special Jury Award at the NuoviMondi Film Festival.

“The woman’s radical and extreme choice of life is described in a sensitive, poetic and unrhetorical way. At the end of the documentary, we all go to her side,” the jury had said following a premier held in 2021.

Kayacı also won first place in the “The Most Admired Housewife” survey conducted in the district in 2011.

Known for its green highlands and unique traditions and cuisine, Turkey’s Black Sea region is considered a living cultural asset with its green and mystical aura.

The Karakısrak Plateau, where Kayacı still lives in, feels like a mystical place with clouds hanging over high mountains.