Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Synopsis: In the rural area around the Anatolian town of Keskin, the local prosecutor, police commissar, and doctor lead a search for a victim of a murder to whom a suspect named Kenan and his mentally challenged brother confessed. However, the search is proving more difficult than expected as Kenan is fuzzy as to the body's exact location. As the group continues looking, its members can't help but chat among themselves about both trivia and their deepest concerns in an investigation that is proving more trying than any of them expected.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Production: The Cinema Guild
  19 wins & 26 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
157 min


Izzet, bring him over.

Is it here?


- No.

- What?

- It's not here.

- You sure?

How do you know it's not here?

- The place wasn't like this.

- What?

The place wasn't like this.

There was a field.

What sort of field?

On a slope or flat?

Flat. There was like a round tree.

A round tree?

Chief, does he mean

the fountain down beside Kizilkaya?

Oh, the one by whatsitsname...

- There's a field there?

- Sure.

- So you're saying it's not here.

- No.

OK. Take him away, Izzet.

Mr. Prosecutor, seems there's

another fountain like this down below.

He says it's not here,

so I'd guess it's there.

- So it's not here either.

- No. That's what he says.

Fine. Let's go then.

- We call it 'kmus' where I come from.

- Whatever. So one night...

It's late. Everyone's tanked up.

- You listening, doctor?

- Of course, chief.

So we're all drunk

and the tax officer walks off.

I think, he's an ass-licker.

He'll come back with something.

Soon as he sees a big wig,

he gets to work.

- That's Nedim.

- Who?

- The tax officer at the time.

- No, it was Sinasi.

Nedim came before him.

Oh, yes. He'd throw back

his head to talk. Fat and bald.

Around two months

after Mr. Galip arrived...

...he got posted somewhere else.

Well, he goes off with the waiters.

And they come back with three trays.

- See a tray and what do you think?

- Kebabs.

You'd think kebabs. Meat.

But no! It's yoghurt.

What kind of yoghurt?

Not the soupy kind we know.

It's hard as rock.

- You need a knife to cut the stuff.

- Sure it wasn't cheese, chief?


You think I don't know yoghurt

from cheese, doctor?

What do you take me for?

That stuffs delicious, doctor.

Especially in spring.

No, it was yoghurt.

But buffalo yoghurt.

Not sheep or whatever,

buffalo yoghurt.

They have buffalo stuff at the dairy

down from our quarters.

- Where is there a dairy?

- Down from our quarters, sir.

Which quarters are you in?

What dairy?

You know that dairy

below our quarters?

- By Kivircik's place?

- Yes, sir.

They sometimes make it there.

- That stuffs pasteurized!

- No, it's buffalo. I've tried it.

- It kind of smelled.

- It smells if it's good.

Buffalo yoghurt... Wouldn't I know

if they had it at the corner shop?

- I'm crazy about the stuff.

- To be honest, chief, you don't know.

I tried it.

But it just seemed to smell a bit.

Because it's good. The animals eat

fresh grass in spring, right, doctor?

Arab, some people have no taste

for the good things.

I mention buffalo yoghurt

and the guy says it smells.

He doesn't know the real thing.

What's he used to?

Pasteurized. You can get

pasteurized from any shop.

No, chief. My deceased mother

used to make it.

They can't make it like that now.

You know, I see stuff sometimes

that really bugs me.

In the supermarket. 'Skimmed' yoghurt.

What the hell is that?

'Skimmed' yoghurt.

You'd be ashamed to write the words.

There's a good dollop

of cream in buffalo yoghurt.

Nedim was in Mr. Galip's time.

That's the guy.

- He was a good man.

- And nice.

Nice, meaning harmless.

Harmless passes for nice these days.

Useful doesn't come into it, Arab.

OK, where is it then?



Well, umm...


- Speak to me! Where is it?

- I don't know.

- I mean, I'd been drinking.

- What?

- I'd been drinking.

- Huh?

You'd been drinking.

- You'd been drinking?

- Yes.

- Had your brother been drinking too?

- He doesn't drink.

So you don't remember exactly?

Say something.

Say there was a tree, anything!

Was it up by the fountain

or below the road? Say something!

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Ercan Kesal


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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