MY NAME IS ELIF

BEN ELIF

By Andaç HAZNEDAROGLU

MOTION FILMS - as PROD

First film - Pre-Production 2012

It is the story of 1980s Ankara told exclusively through the eyes of a little girl. The narrative portrays the turbulence of the period with a child’s wide-eyed innocence rather than from the politicized perspective of an adult. Ironically we realize through Elif how childish many adult stories are.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • First film
    • Countries
    • TURKEY
    • Languages
    • TURKISH
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Andaç HAZNEDAROGLU
    • Writer(s)
    • Ayten SOYKÖK
    • Producer(s)
    • Seçil AVUNYA (Motion Films), Tuba GÜVELIOGLU (Motion Films), Slobodan SKERLIC (Artakcija)
    • Synopsis
    • Ankara, 1980... Elif is the young daughter of provincial parents, migrants to the city; a seven-year-old who’s determined not to grow up. She retreats instead into her own fantasy realm, far removed from the codes of the adult world. But though there’s solace in this private realm, she remains on the outside a mere speck struggling to conform to the world of others...
      Elif lives with her mother, father, older sister and grandmother. She’s hopeless at school, still struggling when all her classmates can read, and whiles away lesson-time playing her own music on the ‘piano keys’ she has scratched in her desk. She buys a red ribbon with her pocket money and pins it to her pinafore on the way home in attempt to convince her family that she, too, has learned to read.
      But Elif has serious problems at home: her father sexually abuses her, and her mother belittles her all the time, refusing to trust her. There are just two people she’s close to: her big sister, Seval, and friend Jale, who she shares her troubles with, smoking in trees. After a while, when Seval becomes involved in the political turmoil of the day, Elif finds herself without a sister. Growing ever more solitary, she buries herself deeper in her own world.
      Throughout the story, Elif attempts to understand grown-up concepts through her own prism. She’s introduced to the concept of ‘state’ by ‘damaging state property’ with the piano keys carved on her desk, to the concepts of ‘revolution’ and ‘prison’ through the youth movement her sister belongs to, and to the concept of ‘family’ when she’s abused by her father.
      Elif has no place for good and bad in her take on life or concepts. Everything to her is a game; and although that means one painful game after the other, she clings resolutely to this world, detaching herself from the painful games with versions of her own.
      By the end of the story Elif learns to read for real. Her father is exposed as a child molester by the neighbours, who try to lynch the man right in front of Elif. Through all her various experiences Elif has unwittingly stepped into the adult world. And it’s here that the story ends.
      ‘My Name is Elif’ is the story of 1980s Ankara told exclusively through the eyes of a little girl. The narrative sets out to portray the turbulence of the period with a child’s wide-eyed innocence rather than from the politicized perspective of the adult world. No concept or event is purely good or purely bad. Ironically, we come to realize through Elif how childish many adult stories in fact are...
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Nov 01, 2012
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