Noticias Festival

“Humor is an important tool to endure all the difficulties and absurdities of life


The majority of the young people in today’s Turkey are in a state of repression because of the economic, cultural and social policies. While working on his debut feature, director Umut Subaşı’s main motivation was to paint a portrait of his generation. ‘Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster’is a tragicomic story where four characters, who suffer from different reasons and cry in their corners every night, cross paths The debuting director uses the act of crying as a representation of this general psychology, but he also wanted to prevent this situation from playing sympathy for the characters by using the humorous tone of the film. “I wanted to approach this film without the doom and gloom that underlies the themes it addresses. Humor is an important tool to endure all the difficulties and unreasonableness of life”, argues the director born in Ankara.

His feature film addresses topics such as unemployment, the future, anxiety and being caught between Eastern and Western cultures. Among the secondary aspects that also emerge in the plot are nepotism, bribery, brain drain and imposture.

In ‘Almost Entirely a Slight Disaster’, a visual language prevails determined by the use of the fixed camera and intermediate shots. By avoiding camera movement, wide angles and close-ups, the filmmaker underscores the sense of trap in his characters, portrayed in the absurdities of everyday life.


How important was it for you not to turn your film into a melodrama?

It was very important because I aimed to prevent the audience from getting caught up in feeling sorry for the characters and missing the main point by creating a contrast between the film’s subject matter and tone. If you empathize with the characters in a film, you don’t think about why they’re sad; you simply share in their sorrow. I wanted the opposite.


Why have you avoided social media in a generation who can’t live without?


Due to having a screenplay with multiple protagonists and a fragmented structure, I had to allocate limited moments for each character. For me, it was not essential or significant to depict the characters’ time spent on social media in order to describe them. However, this doesn’t mean that the characters don’t use social media and that it doesn’t exist in the film of course. For example, both Ayse and Zeynep make some interesting decisions based on what they see on social media.


In your main characters’ world, astrology, the lottery and online personality tests cohabit with visa, study and job applications. How is this contrast helping you out diagnose the malaise of the millennial generation?


I think it’s related to the contrast between the rational and the irrational. The difficulties you experience with the rational lead you towards the irrational. The irony is that sometimes the irrational can be just as frustrating as the rational.


Which were your sources of inspiration when frontal framing your characters?


I can’t pinpoint a direct source of inspiration, but I can say that certain cinematographic choices, including frontal framing, static camera and shallow depth of field were related to the sense of confinement experienced by the characters.