Jordmannen (The Earthmen)
Muammer Özer, Sweden 1980, 27 min.
Sweden/Finland 1983, Muammer Özer, 38 min.
Jordmannen tells the story of an immigrant from Anatolia who moves to a new country in hope of a better life. The everyday reality of this nameless protagonist, who is depicted as a clay figure, is marked by alienation, racism and exploitation. It is a grim portrayal of an economic migrant in an affluent Western society which is representative of many shared stories: The unqualified worker’s worth is determined solely by his performance. Structured as a series of episodes, the story makes use of dolls, toys and live-actors and alternates between black-and-white and colour film. In Ulkomaalainen/Yabancı, a young man from Turkey arrives in Finland hoping to earn enough money for a better life. But life in the north soon begins to tear him apart. On one hand the hard factory work, the sensory overload of consumer goods, the seemingly constant sexual availability of the women and, on the other hand, news of the political turmoil in his homeland. His near delusional state is expressed cinematically in a montage of documentary and poetic images that occasionally verge on the surreal. The film contains substantial documentary footage from 1970s Turkey.
John Sundholm is Professor of Cinema Studies at Stockholm University and has published widely on minor cinemas. He works also as a film programmer and has directed AVANT since 2002, Scandinavia's only regular international event dedicated to experimental film.
Ahmet Gürata is an academic, film critic and festival curator. He is currently a senior visiting scholar at Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies (SUITS) and has published research on the history of Turkish cinema, reception, remakes and documentary in anthologies and journals. He also works as a programmer for the Festival on Wheels and Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.