The Wild Pear Tree

In the eighth feature film from Palme d’Or-winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan, an aspiring writer returns to his native village, where his father's debts catch up to him.
February 2019
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The Wild Pear Tree

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Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan


2018, Turkey, Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Sweden, 188 minutes, Digital

Language: Turkish

Distributor: The Cinema Guild

Program Notes

Sinan (Aydin Doğu Demirkol), an aspiring writer, returns home after university hoping to scrape together enough money to publish his first novel. He wanders the town encountering old flames and obstinate gatekeepers and finds his youthful ambition increasingly at odds with the deferred dreams of his gambling-addict father (Murat Cemcir). As his own fantasies mingle with reality, Sinan grapples with the people and the place that have made him who he is.

Following in the great tradition of family dramas like Death of a Salesman and Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Wild Pear Tree weaves an evocative tale of creative struggle and familial responsibility with inspired performances, sumptuous imagery and surprising bursts of humor. It’s one of Ceylan’s most personal works to date, a film as rich, layered and uncompromising as the novel its headstrong hero is working to publish.

Since the premiere of his first short film, Cocoon, at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, Nuri Bilge Ceylan has become an internationally revered director, a constant of the world’s top film festivals, and a recognizable force for committed arthouse moviegoers. Before capturing the Palme d’Or for his 2014 film Winter Sleep, Ceylan received Cannes’ Best Director award for Three Monkeys and Grand Prix for both Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and Distant, which later became the most awarded film in the history of Turkish cinema. The Wild Pear Tree, which again premiered in competition at Cannes, is the director’s eighth feature film and a typically masterful work.

“Few filmmakers are as adept at depicting the flawed male psyche as Ceylan; here, once again, his distinctive blend of analytical detachment, wry wit and unsentimental compassion has produced a remarkably complex and convincing portrait, both of an individual and of a society.”
— Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

5/5 STARS:
The Wild Pear Tree is a gentle, humane, beautifully made and magnificently acted movie from the Turkish film-maker and former Palme winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan: garrulous, humorous and lugubrious in his unmistakable and very engaging style.”
— Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

The Wild Pear Tree maintains a visual sophistication unparalleled in international cinema. Ceylan intersperses talky exposition with poetic imagery that deepens the story’s thematic concerns, from a majestic swing of the camera that goes up and into a tree — the better to watch the leaves blowing in the breeze — to the slow tracking shot toward the edge of a well at the movie’s taut and remarkable climax.”
— Erick Kohn, IndieWire

Cannes Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival

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