Köken Ergun'a Rotterdam Film Festivalinde Ödül

Last night saw the announcement of the winners of IFFR’s two short film competitions. The three Tiger Awards for Short Film were granted to VIDEO GAME by Vipin Vijay (India), HINTERLAND by Geoffrey Boulangé (France) and THE FLAG (BAYRAK) by Köken Ergun (Turkey). Honourable Mentions went to VOM INNEN; VON AUSSEN (ABOUT THE INSIDE; FROM THE OUTSIDE) by Albert Sackl (Austria) and YOU CAN WALK TOO by Cristina Lucas (Spain).

The Tiger Awards for Short Film jury noted VIDEO GAME’s “relentless, complex post-modern intelligence”, HINTERLAND’s “courage and precision” and described THE FLAG as “an extraordinarily elegant film.”

Bayrak (The Flag) by Köken Ergun could be considered an extraordinarily elegant film: It documents Turkish school children involved in a patriotic ceremony taking place on Children’s Day in a giant football stadium, simply using two handheld mini DV cameras. Without further commentary, these two perspectives of the ceremony are conjoined using the basic strategy of a split screen. The result could hardly be more effective, moving and claustrophobic. We become witnesses to the indoctrination of the young in a manner that could not be more frontal. But before we cast aspersion, this film should also remind us to consider the effective though hidden strategies of indoctrination here at home.