Take on Classics

Voting form

The voting form is now closed. In the run-up to the festival, we will announce the winning films online. The Movies that Matter Festival will take place from Friday 22 March to Saturday 30 March 2024 in The Hague and satellite locations across the country. Ticket sales start on Thursday 7 March.


  • Auf der anderen Seite

    Fatih Akin, 2007

    Nejat, a second-generation Turkish immigrant, lives in Germany. When his father, who has been a widower for years, takes in Turkish sex worker Yeter, Nejat is initially very sceptical. But when he discovers that Yeter is sending money to Türkiye for her daughter Ayten’s studies, he gains sympathy for her. When Yeter dies suddenly, Nejat travels to Istanbul to look for her daughter. But political activist Ayten is on the run from the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She finds shelter with her friend Lotte. But when Ayten is arrested, she is extradited to the Turkish authorities. Lotte travels after her in an attempt to free Ayten.

  • Bal

    Semih Kaplanoğlu, 2010

    Six-year-old Yusuf is an only child and lives with his parents in an isolated, forested area in Türkiye. For the boy, who often accompanied his father Yakup when he worked as a beekeeper in the forest, that environment is a place of mystery and adventure. There, he learns all about scents, colours, time and space, flora and fauna Yusuf watches with admiration as his father attaches special beehives on high branches. But life changes. Due to a mysterious bee death, his father has to go further and further into the mountains to support them. And Yusuf goes to school for the first time where he has to make great efforts to learn to read and satisfy his teacher. Other children laugh at him because he stutters. One day, his father does not return from work. Yusuf sees his mother Zehra getting sadder by the day and goes to investigate.

  • Duvar

    Yılmaz Güney, 1983

    A group of young boys struggle to survive in a Turkish prison, itself a metaphor for Turkey under the rule of the oppressive military government that had come to power through a coup in 1971. The film was shot in France by Yılmaz Güney, a popular Kurdish actor, director and screenwriter, himself spent much of the 1970s in prison.

  • Gegen die Wand

    Fatih Akin, 2004

    Desperate to escape her suffocating traditional family, young Sibel convinces disillusioned alcoholic Cahit to marry her. After their marriage, the two lost souls live together as roommates but gradually fall in love with each other. However, problems soon arise.

  • Güneşi Gördüm

    Mahsun Kırmızıgül, 2009

    In the southeastern region of Türkiye, the Kurdish Altun family lives in a small mountain village ravaged by a 25-year war, making their daily life a hellish struggle. When the Altun family has to leave the village, a search for a new home begins. Haydar and Isa Altun decide to stay in Türkiye and leave for Istanbul. Davut Altun moves on to Norway with his family to build a new life. Güneşi Gördüm is a family chronicle that takes place over a 25-year period and focuses on discrimination, loneliness and alienation.

  • Min Dît: The Children of Diyarbakır

    Miraz Bezar, 2009

    Ten-year old Gulistan (Senay Orak) and her younger brother Firat (Muhammed Al) live happily with their parents in Diyarbakir, the heart of Turkish Kurdistan. Tragedy strikes when their mother and father are shot down by paramilitary gunmen before their eyes. Traumatised and orphaned, Gulistan, Firat and their infant sister are placed in the care of their young, politically-active aunt Yekbun who soon disappears without a trace. As days turn into weeks, the money that their aunt left them runs out. Eventually, the children have to fend for themselves on the streets, where one day, Gulistan is shocked to come across the murderer of her parents. 

  • Mustang

    Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015

    Summer begins. In a village in northern Turkey, Lale and her four sisters are returning from their last day of school. On the way, the girls innocently play some more games with the boys from the village. However, this is labelled as a gross excess of vice, and the girls become embroiled in a major scandal with unexpected consequences. Slowly, their home turns into a prison; homework turns into housework, and the family begins to forge marriage plans for the girls. But driven by their desire for freedom, the five sisters fight back together against the restrictions imposed on them.

  • Offside

    Reyan Tuvi, 2010

    Offside tells the story of Taju and Rachid, two immigrants from Nigeria whose paths cross in Istanbul. They have both come to Türkiye hoping to become professional footballers. Taju would like to play in a third-division team, while he tries to earn a living in a small barber shop in Kumkapı. Unlike Taju, Rachid has decided he cannot fulfil his football dreams in Türkiye and is looking for a way to get to Europe to live with his English girlfriend Diane, whom he met online. When their good friend Okute, another footballer, is taken into custody by the police, the two friends’ hopes fall apart. They are left with many difficult questions about their uncertain future.

  • Propaganda

    Sinan Cetin, 1999

    Customs officer Mehti is faced with the task of formally setting up a border between Türkiye and Syria, splitting his native village in two. He is unaware of the pain that will unfold as families, languages, cultures and lovers are torn apart and clash in a village that was once united.

  • Sürü

    Zeki Ökten, 1979

    Scripted by Yılmaz Güney from prison, Süru depicts the tragic disintegration of a tribal family during Turkey’s turbulent transition to capitalism. A touching film, which has been compared to John Ford, in which the difficult relationship between the father and the eldest son of a sheep-herding family symbolises the struggle between tradition and innovation. Shot in Turkish because any public use of the Kurdish language was illegal at the time.

  • Susuz Yaz

    Metin Erksan, 1963

    One exceptionally dry summer, a cunning tobacco farmer builds a dam to divert local water to his own estate. As the villagers unite to fight him, a love triangle develops between the farmer, his more decent brother and a village girl.

  • Üç Maymun

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2008

    Wealthy businessman and aspiring politician Servet is exhausted when he causes a fatal accident. Afraid of losing votes in the upcoming elections, he pressures his driver to take the punishment, for a fee. The stay in prison is not without consequences for the driver’s family.

  • Uzak

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002

    Mahmut is a cosmopolitan photographer who hit a creative and personal wall. When an awkward cousin from his home town turns up on his doorstep seeking a place to crash while conducting a futile search for employment, Mahmut is both grateful for the companionship and resentful of the intrusion. 

  • Yılanların Öcü

    Şerif Gören, 1985

    Kara Bayram is a poor farmer living in a village with his wife, 3 kids and his mother Irazca. They live on their own until another villager, Haceli who is backed up by the Mukhtar starts to build a new house right in front of their’s. Kara Bayram and Irazca do not accept these uninvited neighbors from the first day and unwanted events start right away. 

  • Yol

    Şerif Gören & Yılmaz Güney, 1982

    When five Kurdish prisoners are granted one week’s home leave, they find to their dismay that they face continued oppression outside of prison from their families, the culture, and the government. 

  • Zenne Dancer

    Caner Alper, 2012

    Zenne Dancer is inspired by the story of 26-year-old student Ahmet Yildiz, who was shot in 2008 in what is often called “the first gay honour killing in Turkey”.

    The film features an unusual trio: Daniel, a German photojournalist in Istanbul without much knowledge about Middle Eastern values; Can, a flamboyant, proud male belly dancer who enjoys much love and support from his family; and Ahmet, from a conservative eastern family, whose quest for honesty and freedom leads to a tragic end.