Review

  • As someone who has a fondness for both Turkish and German cinema, I am glad this film made it to American shores and that Faith Akan's follow-up film "Head On" has just opened in NY (if only NY was not 11 hours away by car!). I have noticed that many outstanding German and Turkish films have not been distributed here, but hopefully the dual critical successes of "Goodbye Lenin!" and "Distant" can change that. I must admit that I liked "In July" more the first time, but it still holds up on a second viewing. I think there are two scenes in the film which are questionable. The Romanian border scene seems a bit forced, and the boat scene where the two leads share a joint seems out of place in a film that is not surreal in any other sequence. But, the characters are quite well-rounded and there are unexpected plot twists which keep the pace moving. Interestingly enough, both Turkish and German cinemas have produced outstanding 'road movies' over the years so it should be no surprise that a Turkish-German director achieves success in this genre. Two such films are Wim Wenders' "Kings of the Road" and the Yilmaz Guney-Serif Goren film "Yol," which means "The Road" in English. For those interested in German films with Turkish themes, there is also Kutlug Ataman's "Lola and Billy the Kid" which is a bit shocking because all the main characters are Turkish and the film has gay themes, but it is a film which works even when one takes away the novelty and its shock value. But, this is the better film of the two. I also like the exterior shots of the historic Turkish city of Edirne in the film and of course, it is hard not too make good use of the Bosphorous landscape which Istanbul has been blessed with.