Turkish filmmaker and Berlinale regular Burak Cevik has completed shooting his nextt film Nothing In Its Place, a drama that focuses on one of Turkey’s most bloody political massacres.
Cevik’s The Pillar Of Salt (2018), Belonging (2019) and Forms Of Forgetting (2023) each premiered in the Berlinale Forum.
Inspired by a true story, Nothing In Its Place follows a group of five leftist youths in 1978 who believed in an unarmed socialist revolution. In the middle of the night, two right-wing youths raid their meeting and decide to kill them. The film takes place on the night of a political massacre that took place in the country’s capital of Ankara in 1978.
The ensemble cast features seven young actors and includes Onur Gozeten, Eren Kol, Efe Demirel, Celal Ozturk, Yigit Ege Yazar, Burak Can Aras and Berk Tufan Yıldız. Filming took place in a suburb of Istanbul for four weeks in August.
Cevik also wrote the script with input from advisors Tanıl Bora and Akif Kurtuluş, two noted intellectuals on Turkey’s modern political history.
It is produced by İpek Erden for Turkey’s Vayka Film and Cevik for Fol Films, the Istanbul-based production company founded by the filmmaker in 2017. The co-producers are Zsuzsanna Kiràly for Germany’s Flaneur Films, Guillaume de Seille for France’s Arizona Films, South Korea’s Jeonju Cinema Project and Turkey’s Kanat Dogramacı.
The filmmaker told Screen that he had spent two years working on the project ahead of shooting.
“About two years ago, I started researching the political chaos in Turkey before the 1980 coup,” said Cevik. “I went into newspaper archives, analysed leftist publications of the period, interviewed people and recorded all the interviews. The end product is this film.”
“How can a person kill another person or risk death for what they believe in? I was born at a time when beliefs were changing. It is tempting to look at the Cold War-era desire which is ‘save the world or change it’ from today’s world.. It says something about the people. Making this film was partly an attempt to understand that.”