69th edition. October 18-26, 2024

‘La belle indifférence’ or the denial of the effects of neoliberalism in History Time

Kivanç Sezer, director of La belle indifférence

20/10/2019.- Seminici’s 64th edition section Meeting Point programmed this Sunday October 20 the feature film La belle indifférence by Turkish filmmaker Kivanç Sezer. It is the second film of a “supposed trilogy” on the effects of neoliberalism and its value in the different social classes in Turkey. The first is My Father’s Wings and he is working on the script of the third, which will be called Heaven in a Heartless World.

The director has explained that there are three different stories which are not necessarily connected but that have one thing in common: “they are three different layers of the society which are affected by the consequences of capitalism and their link is a building complex”. The first film shows the construction workers who work at this building complex. “One of the scenes even shows the main couple that appears in the second feature film who goes to see the flat”.

On the second, we see how this middle class couple lives in that building complex which is already finished. Lastly, the third film will show us the contractor who is the owner of the construction Company. There is a parallelism with Spain. In the same way as here, there was a construction boom and afterwards a fall, “in Turkey in the last ten years there was also a construction boom and that bubble has been exploding since two years ago.”

The pharmaceutical industry is also present in this film. Kivanç Sezer has expressed “the contradiction of the capitalist system that exploits and depresses us, but which is the same that then sells us pills so that we are happy” and has pointed out that “a third of the world population is taking antidepressants.”

Regarding the title, La belle indifférence, actually means “small things” but the terminology did not convince the director. Sezer starting thinking about something that defined the main character all the time, since he “he didn’t want to face the reality of what was happening”. That is how he ended up with the philosophical term “La belle indifférence” which is “the idea of neglecting the symptoms of what is happening to oneself”.

Lastly, the Turkish director has explained that funding to make films in Turkey usually comes from the Ministry. The first film from this trilogy did follow this channel. However, from a certain moment, several filmmakers have become part of the government’s black list and have stopped receiving this support. For this reason, they decided to “create an association of solidarity among directors to be able to fund these films.”

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