70 min

Post production

Hasan's Joy

Directing: Grzegorz PiekarskiNatalia Pietsch


The entire city of Hasankeyf went under water due to the construction of the dam at Ilısu on the Tigris River, ending the 10 000‑year history of settlement. Two kilometers away, New Hasankeyf, an estate of identical houses, was built. The most important monuments were moved. Many ordinary buildings had to be demolished to create space for transport, even before the city was flooded. The flooded city becomes an attraction for underwater sightseeing, and the castle protruding above the surface becomes a destination for noisy tourist ships. The scale of the changes could overwhelm Westerners, but the people of Hasankeyf managed to maintain their dignity and peace.
The ‘keyf’ in the name of the city is ‘pleasure’ in Turkish. It can be derived from ordinary activities: walking or drinking tea. It allows you to push problems that you are helpless against into the subconscious. These events are described through the perspective of various people, but most of the scenes focus on Rengin – a high school graduate who stubbornly wants to enter medical studies, even though she has to improve her marks, and on Burak – a barber working with his brother and deaf‑mute father in a saloon at the main bazaar. To emphasize the theme of inevitability and mythical doom, the story will start from the end. Opening shots present the ruins of the underwater city, then the taming of the new city, demolition and moving. The final scenes will be an idyllic image of the old Hasankeyf, which no longer exists.
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