Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Screening of Hacivat Karagoz Neden Olduruldu? (Killing the Shadows)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Watch webcast

2006
135 minutes
Turkish with English subtitles

Karagoz and Hacivat lived and died during the first clashes of the decaying Eastern Roman Empire and the early Ottomans of the 14th century Anatolia. Their stories and characters have been adapted for the traditional shadow theatre of the later Ottoman Empire, in modern Turkey and all over the Middle East, Greece and western Asia. Their legend and the truth about their tragic deaths are twisted and distorted, but their caustic humor still lives on. 

"Hacivat Karagoz Neden Olduruldu?" (Who Killed the Shadows?) opens in 14th century Bursa, a lovely city on the border of the Byzantine Empire. Bursa hosts a multicultural life under the rule of the Ottomans, an emerging small Turkish tribe of that time. People who are exhausted from the tax hungry Mongolian attacks immigrate for a new life to this liberal city, which is also a shelter for the ruling class from various crumbling states and governments. Among those seeking refuge, is an illiterate but highly intelligent and sensitive Turkoman nomad, Karagoz, and a sharp, garrulous messenger, Hacivat. From the moment they meet, their conversations entertain those around them and eventually, they start to present stand-up shows where they humorously criticize the religious and civil authorities, and quickly accumulate a long list of enemies.  

Festivals and Awards:

2006 International stanbul Film Festival (Turkey)
2006 Adana Golden Boll International Film Festival (Turkey): Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction 
2006 Ankara International Film Festival (Turkey): Best Actor (Haluk Bilginer), Best Art Direction, Best Music
2006 Nurnberg Turkey/Germany Film Festival

More Information

Middle East Studies