Beyond the Hill
Beyond the HillOriginal Title: Tepenin Ardi
Director: Emin Alper
Turkey | Turkish
Subtitles: Arabic and English
The concept of the ‘other’ as the enemy, unknown yet feared and loathed, forms the basis of a compelling psychological thriller from Turkey. With its intricate plot, excellent acting and impressive visual dexterity that blends elements from the dark comedy and Western genres, Emin Alper’s Beyond the Hill
is not only frightening but also succeeds in maintaining suspense throughout.
In a remote rural valley in Turkey, Faik spends his retirement days tending the land. Meanwhile,
ongoing tensions with a group of elusive nomads who live ‘beyond the hill’ are only rising in intensity. Faik suspects the nomads have been grazing their animals on his
property, but has been unable to catch them in the act. When his son and grandsons arrive for a visit, it soon becomes obvious that something darker is approaching. Everyone’s secrets
are bound to spill out as the narrative shifts from the story of one character to another. When the conflict with the nomads turns into a blood feud, a shocking confrontation with the truth is inevitable.
An outstanding talent to watch, Emin Alper succeeds in combining universal themes like isolation,
dread and secrecy into a sharp, sophisticated social and political allegory of the realities that Turkey confronts. With its powerful use of stark Anatolian landscapes in setting the stage for an ever-growing paranoia, Beyond the Hill
skillfully depicts the state of mind of a community
whose survival relies on relentless antagonism and claustrophobia.
– Özge Calafato