Commitment Hasan (Baglilik Hasan): “A potent portrait of human imperfections”
In an agricultural region of Turkey, Hasan (Umut Karadağ) is one of the farmers growing fruit and vegetables. He fears for his livelihood upon receiving news that an electricity pole is supposed to be installed in the middle of one of his fields. Encouraged by his wife Emine (Filiz Bozok), he takes advantage of an impending bank foreclosure on neighbouring land and bargains with the owner in order to buy it. As the couple’s request for a pilgrimage to Mecca is granted, the proud man must ask for the blessing of everyone he has ever wronged in the past.
With his 2019 film Commitment (Bağlılık Aslı) – which was Turkey’s submission for Best International Feature to the 92nd Academy Awards – director Semih Kaplanoğlu has started a new trilogy, of which Hasan is the latest intalment. The piece screening in the Un Certain Regard section of the 74th Cannes festival is slow-paced and protracted. Nonetheless, if the audience can commit to the 147-minute-drama, they will find it rewarding.
There is a poetic sentiment to the tale of Hasan and his everyday chores, even as he commits the occasional sin in his belief of “every man for himself”. The acting of both Karadağ and Bozok leaves nothing to be desired. A vigorous addition to the depiction of their marriage is the tacit wisdom the character Emine exudes, adding an unexpected power dynamic.
The most successful part of the picture is Özgür Eken’s stately cinematography. The long-time collaborator of director Kaplanoğlu manages to reel in the rich landscape, and through mesmerising visuals turns it into an essential character of the story.
Commitment Hasan is not an easy watch and as such is perhaps not ideal for current streaming culture, but the film is nonetheless a potent portrait of human imperfections.
Commitment Hasan (Baglilik Hasan) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Cannes Film Festival 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Cannes Film Festival website here.