Film Reviews

Anti-Israeli Turkish movie likely to revive a festering row between the two countries

ISTANBUL, TURKEY: Scheduled to be released on January 28, an upcoming action thriller The valley of wolves: Palestine opens with Israel’s storming on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla during which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed. Part of the movie was filmed on Mavi Marmara vessel where Israeli soldiers clashed with pro-Palestinian activists.

The high-sea seizure on May 31, shredded the Jewish state’s ties with its only close Muslim ally and triggered an international outcry that forced the Israelis to ease land commerce with Gaza’s 1.5 million mostly aid dependent Palestinians.

A spinoff from a controversial TV series, the movie tells the story of a fictional secret nationalist agent Polat Alemdar who travels to Israel to hunt down the military commander of the storming and avenge the victims of the bloody raid.
In January, the series has triggered a diplomatic row between Turkey and Israel over an episode that showed Israeli security forces kidnapping children.

A diplomatic crisis sparked when Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has summoned Turkish Ambassador Oguz Celikkol to denounce the series and forced him to sit on a low sofa.

The critics suggest that the movie might lead to another crisis between two countries. Director Zubeyir Sasmaz disagrees. Sasmaz believes, unless someone decides to create an artificial crisis, he is not expecting any to spark.

“I don’t think that the movie will lead to an international crisis. It can happen but i believe that it would be artificial and won’t be permanent. But the movie itself will be perennial classic” says Sasmaz.

A prequel of Valley of The Wolves Palestine; Valley of the Wolves Iraq, the lead character Polat Alemdar was chasing the commander who ordered a raid against Turkish army office in Iraq and to put hoods on the heads of Turkish soldiers.

This time “The Turkish Rambo”, nicknamed by Israeli media, was behind the commander who set the green light for the flotilla raid. Sasmaz denies the accusations of any revenge taken by the movie.

“People may say that Panafilm has created a Rambo in the Valley of Wolves Iraq and now he is going to Palestine but what we are trying to do is to visualise the reality out there. This is not a story about a Rambo going there and getting revenge. We are rather trying to show the world what Palestinians and Israelis have been going through every day” says Sasmaz.

Leading actor Necati Sasmaz, playing Polat Alemdar character, says even the film is telling the story of Mavi Marmara raid, it is created to show the suffering of Palestinians in the region. Sasmaz says, his nickname was given as they are using the same weapon that Israeli use against them; the media.

“We are of course telling the story of Mavi Marmara in The Valley of Wolves Palestine but we are also spotlighting the cruelty and injustice that has been going on there fore more than 50 years. We are aiming to raise awareness and we are doing this with their weapons. Everybody knows how people living in that region dominates media. The reason they dub me that nickname (Rambo) might be the fact that we are using their weapons,” says Sasmaz.

The leading character in the end become of hero for the whole of the Middle East.

“This fictional character became the hero of the countries which are located on the map once hosted Ottoman Empire, as well as the Turkish states in Asia, Arab countries, Balkans and all neighbours of Turkey. He is my hero as well and I am very happy to play this character”

The prequel of the movie, Valley of the Wolves Iraq made a box office of 27.9 million dollars with more than 4 million viewers.-Reuters

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Noreen Gill

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