By Nuray SAHIN


Drama - Development

It is the story of a family struggling to survive, just as their culture and their community struggle to survive. Four seasons, four different old legends are united in one family.

    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 110 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Nuray SAHIN
    • Writer(s)
    • Nuray SAHIN
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • The Silver Gate is the story of a family struggling to survive, just as their culture and their community struggle to survive. In four seasons, four different old legends and experiences from the village “Dersim” or “The Silver Door,” are lived out by one particular family member. A blind father, a grandmother and six children live in this village in Eastern Anatolia. The little girl is the eyes of her blind father and she tells him all the secrets that he cannot see. The eldest son, Haydar is a solitary goatherd who uses his knowledge of magic to feed his goats throughout the hard winter. His knowledge brings in a good source of income, but it is not enough to sustain the family. His teenage brothers decide to leave for Istanbul, to look for work. They are fairly lucky there but still, they earn just enough to keep their own heads above water. Meanwhile, at home, the three very young children have been left with their blind father and aging grandmother, and are vulnerable to the more malicious forces of magic that endanger the innocent in this enchanted land. When two of them go to the forest to collect edible roots for the family, they enter a world that they are not prepared for. Their encounters with strange people performing ancient rituals cause a series of mishaps, which leaves one child dead, and the other one transformed into a strange creature. Life continues, and there is hope for love and a future for the sons, but the chain of misfortunes is a heavy burden for the grandmother, and she is confined to her bed. When the father speaks by phone to one of his sons in Istanbul, asking him to return, this one does so immediately. The other son, however, remains in Istanbul just long enough to use the one bit of magic that he has learned along the journey to get the money they will need to save the family.
      Born in Dersim, (East Anatolia, Turkey) in 1974, Nuray SAHIN attended grammar school in Erzincan. She appeared on the stage at the early age of twelve at the Erzincan Belediye Theatre. She went on an acting tour of the Black Sea coast in 1992; and was trained in acting at Konak Belediye Theatre, in Izmir. Since the age of 15 she has been writing short stories. She moved to Berlin in 1994 with the purpose of studying filmmaking. In 1995, she began her first short film and, one year later, she became a student at DFFB(German Film and Television Academy in Berlin). She graduated in 2004 as a screenwriter and director. In 2000, her short film, Die Letzte Patrone(The Last Cartridge,) was nominated for the Cinema for Peace Award in the official selection of the Berlinale. In 2004, she made for ZDF Folge der Feder! (Follow the Feather,) and received numerous awards (Audience Award, Best Debut Director, Best Debut Writer, Best German Camerawork of the Year) in Mannheim-Heidelberg, Torino and Ankara Film Festivals. She is working as a co-writer for German films, and also as an actress, taking roles in TV films in Germany and in One Day in Europe by Hannes STÖHR.
      Years ago, when I first came back to Dersim, I met a “Dede” (an old dervish man) who told me legends from the place where I was born. Inspired by his voice and thinking about my grandfather, another “Dede” himself, I began to write The Silver Gate. It tells the story of the inhabitants of Dersim, and their fairy-tale, mythical, as well as very difficult lives. For this reason, deep conflicts shout out and the whole atmosphere of poetic imagery comes alive and true. I would like my characters to give life to our forefathers, and identify them with our modern times, telling the stories of today with timeless personalities. I believe that only such characters can truly reflect who we are. Dersim, where I was raised, means The Silver Gate in the Zaza language. According to ethnological studies, the Zazaki language is a part of the north-western group of the Iranian. The religion of Zazas is believed to have been Zoroastrianism. The origin of our people (described as “native”) is still a hypothesis. In the thirties, the name Dersim was changed to Tunceli, literally “the hand of bronze“ in Turkish. An ethnic minority in Anatolia, the number of Zaza people is unknown. A lot of them are living in the Diaspora. In this Turkish province, which our forefathers called “The Land of the Dervishes,” every mountain and every river is possessed by heroes and spirits and shrouded in myth. It is the silver gate that opens into a fairytale world, one world lost inside another, enchanted and cursed at the same time. The Silver Gate is a story that I have composed by weaving a mixture of my childhood memories, my research and my knowledge of Zaza mythology.
    • Partners & financing
    • PPP Goal: Co-Production Market