Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

September 23rd, 2011


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

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Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in AnatoliaOnce Upon a Time in Anatolia

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 8.2/10 (6,471 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Stars: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

Writers: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan

Muhammet Uzuner - Doctor Cemal
Yilmaz Erdogan - Commissar Naci
Taner Birsel - Prosecutor Nusret
Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan - Driver Arab Ali
Firat Tanis - Suspect Kenan
Ercan Kesal - Mukhtar
Erol Erarslan - Murder Victim Yasar
Ugur Aslanoglu - Courthouse Driver Tevfik
Murat Kiliç - Police Officer Izzet
Safak Karali - Courthouse Clerk Abidin
Emre Sen - Sergeant Onder
Burhan Yildiz - Suspect Ramazan
Nihan Okutucu - Yasar's wife Gülnaz
Cansu Demirci - Mukhtar's Daughter Cemile
Kubilay Tunçer - Autopsy Technician Sakir


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 23 September 2011

Filming Locations: Central Anatolia, Turkey

Opening Weekend: $10,652 (USA) (8 January 2012) (1 Screen)

Gross: $63,225 (USA) (19 February 2012)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Turkey's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012.

User Review

A long night in the Turkish countryside

Rating: 10/10

This film won the Grand Prix in Cannes, and it was deserved. A team goes into the countryside to find the body of a murder victim. The team includes the two men accused of the murder,one of whom has confessed and says he wills show them where they buried the body, the police chief, prosecutor, doctor, diggers, and guards. As the night drags on into the next day and the body is not found, the men grow more and more tired. Much of the film is beautifully shot in the dark or semi-dark, lit only by the headlights of the cars or a lamp in the village where they stop to rest. The filming is slow, showing the beautiful countryside and vignettes that wonderfully shed light on the different characters. What seems to be a simple task grows more and more complex; everything in the movie turns out to be more complicated than it first seems. Everyone seems to be guilty of something, so the film becomes a question not only of will the body be found, but who is guilty of what?

One could say that the film is too slow, but just as the team grows more and more tired, so arewe as the viewers, participating in the fatigue of the team, drawn into the feelings of the characters. Women and children are present only as lovely cameos in the film, but are behind almost everything. The actors are all superb, and it was amazing to me that Ceylan could show such depth and breadth of character and emotion and drama with only a few lines of dialog and amazing closeups of the faces.


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