Magazine article Screen International

'The Pillar of Salt': Adana Review

Magazine article Screen International

'The Pillar of Salt': Adana Review

Article excerpt

Burak Cevik’s intriguing film follows a young pregnant woman who lives in a cave

The Pillar Of Salt

Dir/scr: Burak Cevik. Turkey. 2018. 70mins

A puzzle-box of a film that wants to be appreciated more than solved, The Pillar Of Salt is as obtuse as it is enigmatic, piecing together a purposefully disjointed narrative with arresting imagery and a strong mood.

For all of its aesthetic flair and rhythmic flow, there is an emptiness to The Pillar Of Salt

While writer/director Burak Cevik infuses every frame of his feature debut with a distinctive style and tone, it often feels intriguing yet incomplete. Premiering in the Berlinale’s Forum section, then screening at Ankara and now Adana, it is as if the movie has emerged out of the same womb-like cave that its protagonist favours - and perhaps a few moments too soon.

Why the unnamed, raven-haired central character (Zinnure Ture) dwells where she does is never explained, although the cave’s closed-in confines aptly establish The Pillar Of Salt’s intimate air. In one of her daily excursions in search of her missing sister, the pregnant woman utters a line that could also be seen to encapsulate the film. “The most troublesome curse is to freeze a human in time,” she remarks, after espousing the Old Testament tale of Sodom, Lot and Lot’s wife that gives the movie its title. …

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