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An underachieving man; an unattainable
woman; a disapproving father; a mysterious visitor. Love;
betrayal; risk; deception; gain; loss. Do these sound familiar?
Of course they do. Theyre classic elements that have
shown up in thousands of stories from cultures across the
globe. What, then, does another story based on these elements
have to offer us? Another chance for connection. Classic
stories are classic for a reason: they resonate truth, and
they teach us lessons about ourselves and the world around
us. These stories, however, resonate not just because of
the concepts upon which theyre based, but because
of their authors attention to detail.
The short film Whats Love Doing in the Mountains?
is based on a traditional Turkish story, which student filmmaker
Yunus Emre Firat brings to life with the skill of a seasoned
writer/director. The well-crafted cinematography and art
design highlight the beauty of a small Turkish villageits
inhabitants, architecture, and landscapealmost tricking
us into believing that the story of Hasan (Baruk Sarimola)
and Ayse (Ezgi Asroglu) could only take place there. What
makes the story a classic, though, is the fact that it could
take place anywhere. Anywhere on earth, an underachieving
man could have a chance to prove his worth to someone he
loves; anywhere on earth, a woman could be forced to choose
between tradition and passion.
The characters in this film are familiar to us; theyre
people we see in ourselves, our friends, and our families.
In order for the film to work, though, the characters must
also be unique. While Hasan is an archetypal character,
he must also be a real man with real hopes and fears of
his own. One of Mr. Firats greatest achievements in
the making of this picture comes in adeptly folding both
of these necessary facets into each of his characters, from
Hasan to the squabbling couple at the fork in the road.
Needless to say, Mr. Firat has made a successful film,
and because of both the classic subject matter and the filmmakers
craftsmanship, Whats Love Doing in the Mountains?
will no doubt stand the test of time.