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Rated NR · 105 minutes · 2001


Ever since the 1950s, television and the movies have been engaged in an ongoing war for the mind of the average Joe, but this battle for cultural supremacy takes a very different form in this comedy from Turkey. It's 1974, but in a small village in Southern Turkey, the 20th century is only grudgingly acknowledged by most of the residents. The state of the art of entertainment is represented by open-air film screenings hosted by Latif (Cezmi Baskin), a sleazy opportunist with access to a collection of aged motion pictures from Turkey and France. Nazmi (Altan Erkekli), the mayor of the town, bitterly dislikes Latif and boycotts his screenings out of spite -- though he encourages his wife and children to watch the films for free from the rooftop of a nearby building. Nazmi, however, has learned of a new invention that could conceivably put Latif out of business once and for all -- a picture box that seemingly pulls images and sounds out of the sky. Television is all but unknown in the village, and Nazmi is the first man in town to own a set, but having a TV and getting a decent picture are two very different matters, and the search for a strong signal eventually leads to a journey up a nearby mountain. Latif, meanwhile, counters the news of the vision-tele everyone is talking about by spreading word that the TV is the work of the Devil and a slap in the face of Islamic tradition. Vizontele was written by Yilmaz Erdogan, who also collaborated on the direction with O. Faruk Sorak.~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Director: Yilmaz Erdogan



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