Director: Kazım ÖZ
Zer is a young man’s journey into his roots, an exploration of a song originated in a village removed from history.
Jan, a young American with Turkish heritage, is greatly moved by a Kurdish folk song sung by his grandmother before death. After returning to Turkey to bury her, he is shunned off by his family whenever he asks about that song. Finally getting the initial clue from his aunt, Jan starts his journey into the origin of the song, the village of his grandmother.
The journey from the city to village regions was like returning to the past. In his journey he sees undue military presence, listens to old tales and songs, participates in a wedding, has a unspoken moment with a lovely young girl – all of which may or may not resemble the old times. Through a sequence of clues he advances towards the song origin, but the song however makes people sensitive whenever brought up. His journey finally brings him up to the village Hozat, only to see a lake only. In the end he dives in it to have a moment of underwater hallucination of the village in the old times, which was submerged under water in 1938 and its people massacred by the Ottoman military.
The narrative is similar to Loving Vincent (2017), as in the story being told through a 3rd person. Also similar was Gloomy Sunday (1999), being about a song. The film has some 1st person camera angles (not 3rd person), which is very rare to see. The cinematography is beautiful in an unnerving way. The ending sequence of Zer(2017) is a moment to remember in film experiences.