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Umut | Yilmaz Güney,
Turkey | Format: 35mm | 100 minutes
With Hope, Yılmaz Güney—already a popular screen actor—became a major director as well, blending together several of the richest currents in Turkey’s socially engaged cinema into a work that remains as powerful today as when first screened. Cabbar (played by Güney himself) supports his family by driving a broken-down horse-drawn wagon, but competition from taxis threatens to put him out of business. At wit’s end, Cabbar starts to search for a hidden treasure with the aid of a hodja, a mystic. Despite Cabbar’s frequent laments about the hand of fate that seems to rule his life, Güney is always careful to point out the very human causes behind his apparent destiny. Hope was banned in Turkey, but a copy was smuggled out to the Cannes Film Festival, where it caused a sensation; the official ban on the film would remain in effect on the film for almost twenty years.