Turkey. 2022. 58 min
Aslı Erdoğan, worldwide known author, activist, columnist have hit silence after she fled to Germany. Incomplete Sentences is a feature documentary on Erdoğan’s literature and life story that lead to a life in exile. She left Turkey after being unlawfully detained as a result of current government’s increasing pressure on writers, journalist, academics etc. Now, in Frankfurt, she is struggling while everybody is waiting for her to write again. Aslı starts telling her story just after getting out of prison. Aslı together with the director, Adar, wondering in streets of İstanbul, talks about herself. Sometimes streets, sometimes an apartment building invokes stories and sometimes it’s her books. She reads parts from her books and explains the stories behind.
Aslı then goes to Germany to receive the Erich Maria Remarque Award and yet, she doesn’t return. That’s how her exile life in Frankfurt starts; which she likens to a semi-open prison. This situation gradually disrupts her health and keeps her away from writing. I feel like I’ve been exiled from my mother tongue, it’s very strange, like my relation to it is wounded.
The director develops a different kind of relation with Aslı; as a helping friend, taking care of Aslı’s house, watering her flowers, delivering books and notes to Frankfurt, while she witnesses Aslı’s trauma first hand. There is a lot of support for Aslı, she goes from one country to another, attending audience solidarity events, receiving awards. The documentary will follow the steps of Aslı in different places around the world and with an attempt to hear her silence.
Adar Bozbay was born in Van, Turkey in 1982. She is an activist, writer and film-maker with works focusing on feminist solidarity, Kurdish movements and LGBT+ rights.
After majoring in Psychology in İstanbul, she went on to graduate from Media Communications in Eskişehir. Her short story book, Günahlar Şehri (City of Sins) was published in 2005. They directed a short film titled Dilsiz (Tongueless) and participated in other productions
Adar has founded the first bar for women in Istanbul in 2007, which has been operating as a Queer space since 2017. Adar does not identify with any genders, but fights for the rights of all identities while hoping for a world that is not restricted with any.
Incomplete Sentences will focus on two places I believe is the most important. Istanbul, where it all began and Frankfurt, where it evolved to. I believe the place you live in, dictates what you write in one way or another. And all the places Aslı lived, have left a mark or even their soul, so to say, in the pages of her novels. That’s why I find it very important to consider this aspect of geography when making the film. And now that Erdoğan is living in exile I am also excited about what is about to change in her literature. I tried to spend as much time as possible wandering in the streets of both of the cities, and waited open heartedly for her words to come.
The shooting started for me very organically, because we developed an interesting relation. I was like her prosthetic hand in Turkey, I used to do the things while she was in Germany or France. So my relation to Aslı and to the film is quite different, and I believe that this connection will come out in the film as a storytelling element.
2000-2005: Newport University Psychology
2005: Published Short Story Book “Günahlar Şehri” (City of Sins)
2008: Founded the bar and queer community place Bigudi (still working)
2011: Yılmaz Güney Festival Poetry Prize – Subsection Kurdish
2011-2012: Work in TRT Channel, Assistant of Director
2012-2013: TRT Channel “Şirinok” Cartoon, Coordinator
2013: Founded “Ad.art Production”
2013: Short film ““Bê Ziman” (Tongueless) Director and Producer
2014: Theatre Play from Directed by Mehmet Atak, Video Designer
2015: Made Photo project “Face of Istanbul” Curator
2017: Music video for Greek singer Natalia Dusso: Writer & Director
2016-2020: Eskişehir Anadolu University-Communication and Media Studies
2019: Music video for Kurdish singer Rojin: Writer & Director. 2021 Directed Music video “all for love” to German singer Liana Georgi