'Can a man's mind be his own worst enemy?' asks a prisoner in Yilmaz Guney's Yol, one of the great arthouse hits of the early 1980s. In it, five men, released on parole, journey their separate ways across Turkey to rejoin their wives and families, but their temporary freedom is tainted. One finds that his wife has been unfaithful to him in his absence, and that he is expected to kill her. Another is held responsible for a relative's death.
A third finds his family torn apart by the Kurdish freedom struggle (sadly, in that respect, Yol hasn't become a period piece). Each one runs into a brick wall of archaic and unforgiving codes of honours that makes the simple business of loving nigh-impossible and imposes shackles upon them every bit as terrible as their prison bars.
After a slow-burning, almost documentary beginning, the film, visually splendid, roves over Turkey's cultural and geographic diversity towards a heart-stopping conclusion. Guney wrote the script in prison and edited down 13 hours of footage after his escape to Switzerland in 1981 (the film was shot, under conditions of some danger, by his assistant Serif Goren). It won the Golden Palm at Cannes in 1982. Guney made one more film - The Wall - before his death in 1984.
Yol is released on video this month by Artificial Eye at pounds 15.99, but Independent readers can buy it at the special price of pounds 13.99, including P&P. To order, send a cheque to Another Chance to See, Artificial Eye c/o Mail Order Galore, 29 Beethoven Street, London W10 4LG, or telephone the credit card hotline (081-960 1860) mentioning this offer. Please allow 28 days for delivery.
Last week's offer for Yilmaz Guney's Yol omitted that cheques should be for 'Mail Order Galore'. Tapes cost pounds 13.99, from Artificial Eye, c/o Mail Order Galore, 29 Beethoven St, London W10 4LG.
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