GRADUATE OF INSANITY.
(DRAMA - TURKISH-FRENCH-HUNGARIAN)
A Mine Film (Turkey)/Mact Prods. (France)/Objektiv Filmstudio (Hungary) production. (International sales: Mine Film, Istanbul.) Produced by Kadri Yurdatap.
Directed, written by Tunc Basaran, based on a novel by Ayse Nil. Camera (color), Ertunc Senkay; editor, Nevzat Disiacik; music, Nedim Otyam. Reviewed at Istanbul Film Festival (national competition), April 29, 1999. Original Turkish title: Kaciklik diplomasi. Running time: 95 MIN.
With: Ayda Aksel, Selcuk Yontem, Guler Okten, Meric Basaran, Gokhan Mete, Engin Yorikoglu.
Too obviously based on a literary source, vet director Tunc Basaran's "Graduate of Insanity" spins its wheels around the tale of an educated middle-class woman driven mad by her cruel father and indifferent husband. The pic takes its treatment of manic-depressive illness very seriously and flaunts a feminist p.o.v., but the preachy script fails to get under the skin of its eccentric heroine and connect emotionally with the viewer.
Nur (Ayda Aksel) is a poor little rich girl, daughter of a contemptuous right-wing politico and a spacy mother. Her marriage to a university student leader is a disaster, especially after their small son is killed in a car crash. The story picks up a bit when Nur becomes a fanatical admirer of the late Kemal Ataturk, founder of republican Turkey, but her two visits to a cliche-ridden mental institution, complete with electroshock treatment, weigh down the story dramatically. Constant hair and makeup changes add more confusion than depth to Aksel's perf, which is wild-eyed in both her manic and depressive phases.