Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

STEAM: THE TURKISH BATH
(Hamam: Il Bagno Turco)

 

Year: 1997
Country: Turkey/Italy/Spain
Run Time: 94 minutes

Francesco, a brusque interior designer in Rome, learns that an aunt he hardly knew has willed him all her property in Istanbul. He journeys to Turkey, intending to stay no longer than it takes to summarily sell off the estate to eager developers. But once in the ancient Turkish city he senses a change in the atmosphere and the unhurried pace of an ages-old way of life, brought into focus by the discovery of Aunt Anita's crumbling tenement-block contains a long-disused hamam - a traditional Turkish bath. A place devoted to men's pleasure, and their secrets. Francesco reads a collection of Anita's undelivered letters; they explain the extrangement from the faimly and illuminate the attraction for her adopted Istanbul. And Francesco, too, gradually begins to yield to the muezzin-call of a different world. The answer is in the hamam. Sublimely sensual, tastefully tiled, and warm as water on a hot stone, Ferzan Ozpetek's meditative melodrama of Orientalism and how it seduces Europeans will engulf you like a warm, pervasive mist. Temperature's rising. (In Italian, Turkish, and French with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Stefano Tummolini, Ferzan Ozpetek

Director
Ferzan Ozpetek

Producer
Marco Risi, Maurizio Tedesco, Cengiz Ergun, Aldo Sanbrell

Cinematography
Pasquale Mari

Editing
Mauro Bonanni

Principal Cast
Alessandro Gassman, Francesca d'Aloja, Carlo Cecchi, Halil Ergun, Mehmet Gunsur, Serif Sezer, Basak Koklukaya

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