Magazine article Screen International

'Inflame': Berlin Review

Magazine article Screen International

'Inflame': Berlin Review

Article excerpt

Dir/scr Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik. Turkey, 2017. 94 mins.

A courageous premise makes for an undercooked psychological thriller in the former Turkish TV film-show presenter Ceylan Ozgun Ozcelik's debut feature. Casting its lot defiantly with the liberal, free-speech minority in Erdogan's Turkey, the film turns a shocking true-life incident of the 1990s that was a test of the country's human rights record into a lukewarm genre piece about a TV editor going quietly mad as she struggles to resurrect deep-buried memories of her parents in a big old Istanbul apartment.

The bravery at the heart of the exercise will surely propel Inflame (Kaygi) to further festival and film-society dates, but it's difficult seeing further play for a film that falls frustratingly between the stools of arthouse drama and psycho-thriller genre piece.

The uneven but promising first half hour is the best thing about Inflame. Young documentary editor Hasret (Algi Eke) works for a fictional Turkish TV channel with the Orwellian slogan "What you see is the truth, what you hear is the truth". Following a staffreshuffle, she's reassigned to news, and witnesses at first hand how the fragile value blazoned in the network's slogan is manipulated through regime-friendly ticker news summaries and the splicing of interviews with government ministers and dissidents. Each evening, Hasret returns to the old-town apartment where she lives alone since her parents died - in a car accident, she believes, at some unspecified past time. …

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