In the IBB Video Space

Film still:Cemile Sahin, Four Ballads for my Father – Spring, 2022

Cemile Sahin, Four Ballads for my Father – Spring, 2022 (Film still), Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin/Paris/Seoul

© Film still: Cemile Sahin

Cemile Sahin is a writer, artist and filmmaker. Language and image are inseparable in her work, which embraces film, photography, sculpture, installation and the literary novel. She takes a particular interest in how history is written and how pictures are used for manipulative ends. She has also explored in detail how (state) power is exercised and portrayed, not least in her novels “TAXI” (2019) and “ALLE HUNDE STERBEN” [ALL DOGS DIE] (2020).

The Berlinische Galerie is screening her film “Spring” (43 min.), the first part of her new project “Four Ballads for my Father”. A key motif is water, with a focus on the economic and social impact of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP). This huge infrastructure programme was set up to “develop” the rivers Euphrates and Tigris as water resources for commercial purposes by constructing numerous dams and hydroelectric power stations. This has caused both environmental and social problems for the people who live in the region. The project has also led to tensions with Syria and Iraq, neighbouring countries concerned that Turkey will cut them off from their water supply.

Sahin’s film tells of a fictional Kurdish family whose homeland was flooded to make way for a dam. We see episodes from the lives of several family members. We learn about their everyday situation and their worries – and about Hasan, a husband and father who allegedly died as a result of police brutality. Sahin quotes cinematic genres ranging from the documentary to the political thriller, from film noir to the soap opera or telenovela. Despite the theme of structural violence and patriarchal power, this lends the work a light touch and laconic humour that make us eager to hear more.

Director, Writer & Executive Producer – Cemile Sahin
Cinematography – Anne Bolick
Script Editor – Tara Afsah
Head of Production – Sebastian von Gumpert
Line Producer – Marie Wolters
Producer – Baran Hêvî
Casting – Cemile Sahin, Baran Hêvî 
1st AD – Logan Caster 
Production Driver – Eren Kilic

Leyla Bingöl – Ruges Kirici
Dicle Bingöl – Nesibe Güneyli
Firat Bingöl – Baran Hêvî 
Kazim Dogan – Ferhat Keskin
Resul Bayram – Nazmi Kirik
Murat Tasdemir – Bilal Bulut
Ece Aydin – Elasu Celik
Meral Aydin – Leyla Toprak 
Mizgîn Ay – Sevim Kesbir 
Rojbîn Düzgün – Hêlîn Durnagöl 
Taner Güler – Göktug Engel
Louise Malroux – Amy Benkenstein 
Gulistan Zarife – Esra Göcer 
Secretaries – Tara Afsah, Melike Dogan, Dayana Gaona, Gülizar Arîn Celik 
Father-in-Law(Voice) – Ayhan Celik 
Interviewer (Voice) – Klothilde Habrant

Production Design Company – Studio LaForêt
Production Designer – Anne Lewald
Production Design Coordinator – Carlo Schick
Prop Master – Susan Peter
Production Design Assistant – Laura Jacob
Production Design Intern – Alex Diana
Production Design Graphics – Maral Müdok , Michael Burkhardt-Schick 
Production Design Consultant & Conception – Gülizar Arîn Celik, Emre Yoldas, Bewar Manguri , Dor Keren
Costume Design – Marianka Benesch
Hair & Make-Up (Head of) – Elliot de Jahnsen 
Hair & Make-Up (Additional Shoot) – Zela Maria Sanchez 
Hair & Make-Up Paris – Aurore Martin

Location Scout – Roland Gerhardt (Location Networx)
1. AC - Christian Öhl 
1. AC (Additional Shooting) – Kseniia Hordiiash
2. AC – Haben Ghebregziabher 
Gaffer – Álfgerður Malmquist, Alfredo de la Corte 
Electrician – Jayden Bailey, Jones Falkenberg 
Sound Berlin – Eva Perhacova, Johannes Lupper 
Sound Paris – Pierre Bompy
Key Grip – Ardabatu Gozalan 
Grip – Stina Westermann

Editor – Reinaldo Pinto Almeida
Additional Editor – Tom Ries, Cavo Kernich, Ekrem Heydo
Music Composer – Eren Kilic 
Sound Mix – Not A Machine
Additional Sound Mix – Eva Perhacova, Paul Glodek, Matthias Zwingert 
Colorist – Maximilian Pauly
Title Design – Elias Asisi
Finalizing – Tom Ries  
German Subtitles – Baran Hêvî, Franziska Wachholz 
English Subtitles – Tom Ries 
Kurdish Translations – Süheybe Jafarzadeh 
Turkish Translations – Nesibe Güneyli, Baran Hêvî
French Translations – Anne-Marie Karg 
Additional Footage Istanbul – Clemens Krüger 

Camera – RGB Rental
Lights & Grip – cinegate      
Sound – SeeYouRent
Cars – CMS Car Motion Service

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The filmmaker

Cemile Sahin was born in Wiesbaden in 1990. She studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts in London and at the University of the Arts in Berlin. She was awarded the Alfred-Döblin-Medaille for “TAXI and the ars viva prize for her practice in fine arts.


Supported and made possible by: Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Esther Schipper Berlin Paris

IBB Video Space

Since 2011 the IBB Video Space has been screening artists who work with time-based media. The programme, which changes every month, features not only established names in contemporary video art but also up-and-coming artists rarely seen in museums to date. For these, the Berlinische Galerie seeks to facilitate an institutional début. Each month brings a new encounter with work that raises questions about the medium and about social or political issues. Importance is attached to including marginalised perspectives and to shedding light on the impact of power structures.

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