Lunch with Paydos [Break-Off]
What has drawn you to the story of this mother struggling to feed her family?
First of all, I should say that I am very happy that Paydos is shown at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival because Paydos is very important for me. It is my first film and story of Zeliha is a real story. There is a reason of making this film. The reason is that dialectic of life is monitor itself on world of Zeliha and I saw it clearly. In the same time, painful and hopeful side of life are sustaining together their existence in her life. Unconditional love of Zeliha is a sample of this. I thought that contradiction of emotions was suitable for cinema so story Zeliha was re-created on this dialectic by me. She is a worker either at home or factory. She has a labour power and this power sold at factory but unconditional gave to children at home. I attempted to answer the question “Where this power came from?”. At the evening, factory is over and Break-Off, but there is no Break-Off for Zeliha. Another shift is starting at home, because Zeliha is also a mother. Where is the power of women? Zeliha is answering this question via her unconditional love. Secondly, Zeliha lost her smell in the labour process and smell of a gasoline became her smell. Actually, smell of a gasoline was very bad, but this smell is a smell of mother and love for her children. This smell was forced smell which is created by capitalist system, but children are resisting and seizing this smell as a good thing.
Why is this an important story to tell in today’s society?
This story is true story that was practiced in Turkey. Love does not belong to only one society, it belongs to every creature on earth. Thus, I think that her emotions and situation are universal and it has worth to telling. Also, I know that there are great numbers of women like Zeliha.
What was the experience of casting and directing your cast like?
Paydos was a school for me. I learned a lot of things which are related making the film. I can talk a few issues about directing the actors/actresses. There was a healthy energy between leading actor Reyhan Özdilek and me. This provided comfortable my directing conditions. In addition to this, communicate with child stars was very easy for me, because I love children very much. Also, I noticed one thing about me when directing. It was that my decisions were determined by my feelings when directing scenes. For example, when I communicated with actors/actresses, I attempt to put myself imaginatively in characters’ place.
How do you hope audiences will react to the film? Did you have a specific audience in mind that you wished to target when writing the script?
There are so many good feedbacks about Paydos. This makes me very happy. Cinema is such a good thing that you are communicating with people you don’t know and you touch them deeply. In the 15th Workers Film Festival of Turkey, comment of one of the audiences was very honorary. His mother also works at tobacco factory and she is smelling always tobacco. He remembered his mother and childhood under favour of this film. Paydos’ target audience is working class. I think that it is voice of workers, workwomen and mothers. Paydos is call of their unity. Paydos may annoying for rich part of a society, but I want them to watch. To change the world, they have to feel uncomfortable.
What do you think the future holds for short films?
I am not sure about future of short films, but in recent years, importance of short films have came to fore, because it is another world. Sometimes, making short film is more difficult than normal one, because directors of short films should write poem with views. Short film consists of images like poem. Its difference from others is this.
If we were to go back into lockdown, what cultural delights would you recommend to alleviate our boredom?
Human beings always live with hope. I hope that future will bring health, serenity, no war and no exploitation to us. During the pandemic, people resisted for survive all over the world. In this continuous life, my first advice is being hopeful about future of humanity, because hope always strengthens us, provides our dreams. Secondly, we should struggle with difficulties for our dreams. I am primarily motivated via human soul as a director, then there are a few tools for self-entertaining such as books and films.