From the beginning I was resolute that I did not want to make a documentary or a docudrama. I wanted to make a fictional film which explored Evren, the incident, Elif, the family.
I decided to make the film from Elif’s point of view.
My interest and ultimately the focus of the film was how an ordinary happy day suddenly became a nightmare and how this dramatic, sudden and unjust incident affected Elif’s life. Then, through her grieving process, how the small things that Evren left behind, help her to move forward…
The film not only explores a sister’s grief at losing her ‘angel’, as she described him in court when Evren’s killers were brought to trial but also touches on the way chance can dramatically change our lives. How a seemingly inconsequential chain of events, as shown in the film, led to Evren’s death. We can all think of moments in our lives when chance or fate has played a significant role, when you are in the right place, at the right time or, in Evren’s case, the wrong place at the wrong time. If he hadn’t remonstrated with the youths, he would most probably still be alive today. But as the film captures, he was a man of integrity and action, and his act of challenging this yobbish behaviour seems entirely in keeping with his character.
Evren was my friend and he helped me with my first short film, “An Eye for A Tooth”. I shot this film two years before his death. He was much younger than me but he always gained my biggest respect by the way he talked, his behaviour and his politeness. He was an outstanding human being. I would never imagine him being involved in a fight. He was more like a moderator.
I talked to Evren’s family about my intention to make the film. His family trusted me and shared their feelings and frustrations about the incident with me. His sister Elif tried her best to tell me what happened at the incident and how she felt afterwards. Whilst speaking to her during my interviews she amazed me. How she coped with the situation and how she managed to carry on as best as she could. I saw a strong woman who was the one to have suffered the most from this situation.
I began writing the screenplay by myself but soon enough I found the tone of my writing was aggressive. I didn’t want the film to scream and shout, I wanted it to be subtle and calm. I then realised that I was too close to the subject matter and I couldn’t take myself away from being aggressive. So I collaborated with another writer, Rahim Moledina. This worked very nicely in that while I was keeping track with reality, Rahim and I were also able to build a fictional world together.
It was a previlige for me that some of Evren’s family members, his dad, Niyazi Anil and brothers Bulent and Ozgur, and some of his friends, took part in the project as actors , web designer....
I was also privileged by the support of my own community. My son Emre’s football team, Storm Lightning, including the players, coaches and parents all played a part in the filming.
The film ends at Evren's grave. This is to remind us that this is not a story created from fiction alone. I wanted to highlight a pressing social issue of contemporary concern, knife crime and youth violence, but I didn't want this to be the main focus. This film mainly deals with humanity. The people who are left behind when violence strikes, they are the ones who suffer the most when such an incident turns their lives upside down.
Murat Kebir 25/02/2013