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Yılmaz Erdoğan, Ömer Faruk Sorak, 2001
Turkey | Turkish with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | 110 minutes
Based on the childhood memories of co-director and star Yılmaz Erdoğan (recently seen in Once Upon a time in Anatolia as the police inspector), Vizontele chronicles the price of change in a small village in southeastern Turkey. The village mayor seeks to exert strict control over his electorate; his principal opponent is Latif, an opportunist who runs open air film screenings. But the villagers are growing tired of Latif’s recycled movies, and the mayor decides to break Latif’s monopoly by introducing the village’s first TV set—which is when the battle (and the fun) really begins. With a large cast consisting of many well-known comic performers, Vizontele is an example of a more popular kind of cinema that nevertheless carries a strong social message. The film was a great success with Turkish audiences and even spawned a number of sequels.