The International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009 Tiger Award Winner “Wrong Rosary” directed by Mahmut Fazil Coskun tells the story of three people in Istanbul: Musa, a young and timid muezzin who has just been appointed to a small mosque in Tophane, İstanbul; Clara, an orphan girl who will soon become a nun and Yakup, an old secondhand book seller. Coskun’s film brings these three characters in the perfect setting of Istanbul, which is an intersection of various cultures and religions and tells us an honest and plain story of impossibilities, secrets and choices.
Musa and Clara live in opposite flats in the same building and develops a strong attraction between the two. The depiction of such an attraction would have been full of clichés in a popular film. However, this is where the strength of “Wrong Rosary” lies. Without being a melodrama, the film honestly depicts the complex choices their protagonists have to make and the communication difficulties they suffer from without manipulating its audience.
Although this character-based film’s director Coskun says in an interview in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet that their film is not about religious divides and clashes, viewers, we believe, will not be able to help thinking about the impact of religious differences on Musa and Clara’s ultimate decisions.
“Wrong Rosary” (2009) is Mehmet Fazil Coskun’s debut film not to be missed. The recently released DVD of the film has English and French subtitles which would create an opportunity to discover Turkish cinema.