By Asli ÖZGE


Drama - Completed 2012

Asphyxia tells about the struggle of three members of a large bourgeois family in modern day Istanbul, who are caught between their sense of obligation and their desire for individual freedom.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Asli ÖZGE
    • Writer(s)
    • Asli ÖZGE
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Istanbul. It’s a hot summer. Ülkü lives with her husband Erol and her daughters Elif and Irem in an old townhouse along with her grandmother, uncle and aunts, who like to meddle in each other’s affairs.
      Ülkü is a successful lawyer whose dominant character and professional success are the hallmark of this extended bourgeois family. Since she also finances more or less the whole family, she also forces them into a regime of order created by herself – until she becomes the victim of a tragic accident and falls into a coma. The family structure begins to crumble as soon as the matriarch is gone. Elif works as a lawyer in her mother’s legal chambers. The spitting image of her mother and Ülkü’s personal assistant, Elif has virtually no life of her own. To her surprise, Elif finds that she can’t deal with life in her mother’s absence. She withdraws into her mother’s room and becomes obsessed with the notion that Ülkü will awake and everything will be as it was before. In the course of time, Elif’s long-suppressed sexual desires come alive in an uncontrolled fashion within the confines of her mother’s room. Irem, by contrast, drifts towards independence from the matriarchal house in her own chaotic way. She studies in Berlin and has no desire to return home. She conceals her final examinations and looks for a job. However there is increasing pressure on the part of her relatives to make her also bear her share of the task of caring for her mother. So Irem embarks upon an exhausting double life between Berlin and Istanbul, weaving her own self-contradictory and indissoluble web of lies.
      The charming, but professionally unsuccessful Erol meanwhile struggles to assume Ülkü’s role. He gets involved in a pretty precarious construction project in order to show that he too can be a breadwinner. The more efforts he makes to win the respect of the extended family, the more disastrously he distances himself from them.
      The security of the family cocoon that was spun around them by Ülkü vanishes. Despite financial problems, personal compunction and the resistance of the older family members, Erol, Irem and Elif attempt, in his or her own fashion, to find a way out of the ruins in order to realize a life of their own.