"The child is father of the man"
POYRAZ (BOREAS) is about a child's first encounter with death, or rather with an image of death, encapsulated in all those splendid visions of early childhood wandering between reality and dream. Throughout one's life, I presume, every man and woman is haunted consciously or unconsciously by their own unique version of that first image. In making this film my collaborators and I embarked, in a way, on a quest to assemble scattered pieces of such an image, delving into sights and sounds, recollections and inspirations, and daydreams and nightmares.
The title of the film refers to Greek God of North Wind--AKA Boreas! AKA Poyraz!--and the fictional land beyond the North Wind, Hyperborea, where people live in a perfect bliss for a thousand years. The film was shot on location in our family village on the north-eastern Black Sea Coast of Turkey, a place that somehow reminds me of Hyperborea, both with its mountainous topography and its inhabitants who are no less strong in the face of gale winds than those legendary Hyperboreans. So it is worth to note that my actors are natives of the region and happen to be my family as well: my mother, my father, my uncle, my niece, and a very close neighbor.
There is also a hint to a long-lost love story from my family history: that my great-grandmother had been torn apart from her husband during WWI, just two months after their wedding when she was pregnant to my grandmother; that he had gone to fight in the Battle of Sarikamis where so many soldiers frozen to death and never returned home; even so she had waited for him all her life... Of course this story is being glimpsed through the eyes of a child who is just about to, yet somehow resists to cross the threshold of growing up.
Thus POYRAZ is a kind of lamentation over the loss of childhood along with losing all privileges nature, rather than society, bestowed upon it. Consequently, for me there is one burning question underneath the quiet surface of the film:
What does growing up really mean? Coming to terms with death?..