Sunday, 18 April 2010

[331] The Market / Pazar (2008) Review

Now screening at the BFI in London, and soon to be appearing at other cinemas throughout the UK is this intermittently brilliant film about black market trade in Turkey.

Writer-director Ben Hopkins' Turkish film The Market (Pazar) has the fitting subtitle 'A Tale Of Trade'. This international co-production, with money coming from Germany, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Britain, is a testament to the filmmaker's ambition, as it is shot both in Eastern Turkey and in the Turkish language, telling the story of a black market businessman in the mid-1990s, hustling and scoring small jobs in order to get by in an era of economic shift.

Mihram is a hapless, unlucky sort. We first meet him attempting to sell some telephone wire, only to find out the customer had recently been burgled of that same length of cable. Later, he loses money at cards, sells cigarettes at football games, and drinks his worries away. Not exactly the textbook Muslim, he still finds time to spare a few words of prayer, begging for the good fortune of profit, in order to invest in an upstart mobile phone company. So, once a local doctor asks him to make a quick trip into Azerbaijan to buy a shipment of children's medicine, he sees his opportunity for some wheeler-dealing with the hospital's money.

Read the full article here.

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