LIFE ON THEIR BACKS
Turkey, France, 2004/2014, 68’
Editing: Thomas Balkenhol, Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Emmanuelle Mimran
Photgraphy: Ali Rıza Movahed, Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Özcan Alper
Producer Company: Ustaoğlu Film Yapım, Silkroad Production
Music: Ozan Aksoy, Grup Helesa
Sound: Nicolas Dambroise
This is the story of the villagers who migrate to the highlans during the summer months treading the narrow paths that overlook the frightening cliffs in Black Sea region; this is the incredible struggle of women who challenge the incessant rain, fog and wild mountains at the top of Kaçkar’s enchanting peaks. The first climb is to Komati plateau which is 2000 meters above the sea level; and the second climb is to Grand Kaçkar Plateau which is 3500 meters above the sea level…A melancholic return from the same treaded paths accompanied by autumn rains…’Life on Their Backs’ looks at the lives of those women who continue this compelling walk and plateau life with kilos of load on their backs for centuries.
Director Biography: After making several award – winning shorts in Turkey, Yeşim Ustaoğlu made her feature film debut with 1994’s THE TRACE (iZ). The film was presented at numerous international festivals, including Moscow and Gotenburg.
Yeşim Ustaoğlu received international recognition for her 1999 film, JOURNEY TO THE SUN (GÜNEŞE YOLCULUK). In competition at the Berlin Film Festival, JOURNEY TO THE SUN received the Blue Angel Award (Best European Film) and the Peace Prize. The moving story of a courageous friendship undaunted by political cruelty, JOURNEY TO THE SUN swept the İstanbul Film Festival by winning Best Film, Best Director, the FIBRESCI Prize and the Audience Award.
Her third film, WAITING FOR THE CLOUDS, the story of a woman forced to live for 50 years with the haunting secrets of a hidden identity, was awarded NHK Sundance – International Film-maker’s award. Film traveled many festival and established a strong reputation for the director. Ustaoğlu’s fourth film, PANDORA’S BOX tells the story of an old woman who suffers from Alzheimer disease. The film won The Best Film and The Best Actress award in San Sebastian Film Festival. Having participated many international festivals and winning many awards, the film also theatrically released in many countries.
Ustaoglu’s last film ARAF also having international succsess, the film tells a story about two young peole whose lives are caught in a vacuum. Araf won Best Film prize in Abu Dhabi Film Festival, as well as Best Performance in Moscow 2morrow Film Festival, Best Actress Award in Tokyo Film Festival, Special Jury Award for Best Acterss Award in Pune Film Festival.
Araf, 2012 (Turkey/France/Germany)
Three Seasons A Life Black Sea Highlands, 2010 (Turkey)
Pandora’s Box, 2008 (Turkey/France/Belgium/Germany)
Waiting for the Clouds, 2004 (France/Germany/Greece/Turkey)
Life on Their Shoulders, 2004 (Turkey/France)
Journey to the Sun, 1999 (Turkey/Germany/Holland)
Hotel, 1992 (Short film)
Duet, 1990 (Short film)
Magnafantagna, 1989 (Short film)
To Catch a Moment, 1984 (short film)