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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)





The film WHITE AS SNOW (Turkey, 2010) by writer/director Selim Gunes screened in Sofia during the 15th Sofia International Film Festival. The film is based on a short story called ARYAN by Sabahattin Ali about a young twelve year-old boy, Hasan, who lives in poverty in Turkey’s cold East Black Sea mountain area. He lives with his mother and two younger brothers while his father is in prison. In order to survive and provide for his siblings and mother, he sells a yogurt drink called Aryan to passersby, but it is too cold for the drink so he is unable to sell it and thus his family starves through the harsh winter days.

The film is beautifully shot using an experimental and poetic montage that leaves the viewer to piece together the story as it goes. Despite numerous warnings from the local pear seller, Kadir, to not walk home in the snow after dark, Hasan does so anyway and gets lost. Hasan freezes and falls in the snow, beset by dreams or illusions of his past with his father who is now in prison.

The film opens with the father’s arrest but many mysteries remain after the film ends, like how and why the father ended up in prison in the first place and for how long he has been there and if and when he will ever get out. Nothing is obvious in this film as the editing leaves just enough holes in the story for each viewer to make their own assumptions as to how it ends.

WHITE AS SNOW Is certainly nothing like I’ve seen before. While you might not understand all that happens in the film and leave the theater full of questions, the haunting images, stunning photography and emotion-filled expressions will stay with you long after seeing the film.

Written by Vanessa McMahon, March 21, 2011

  Director of WHITE AS SNOW Selim Gunes speaks to press about his film.

The film was produced by Nur Gunes


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