is a good neighbour active in your local community?


Istanbul Modern Cinema, presents a film program parallel to the 15th Istanbul Biennial entitled “a good neighbour”. Based on the notion of neighbourhood, the program looks at our ways of sharing the same locality. Touching on subjects such as sharing the same neighbourhood, meeting in the square, walking in the same streets, being someone’s next-door neighbour, and standing in solidarity and resistance, the selection features films such as America Square (Plateia Amerikis, 2016) by Yannis Sakaridis, which tells about the immigrant crisis in Europe through a local square; Colossal Youth (Juventude Em Marcha, 2006), the latest film in the trilogy about Lisbon’s now demolished Fontainhas neighbourhood by Pedro Costa, one of the leading auteurs of contemporary European cinema; My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari no Totoro, 1988) by Hayao Miyazaki, which tells the fantastical neighbourhood story between the sisters Satsuki and Mei and the magical guardian of the forest; the first two episodes of the series Perihan Abla (1986), in which TRT (the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) brought to our television screens the sense of neighbourhood community which was on the verge of extinction even in 1986 when the series was shot; and the Argentinean film The Distinguished Citizen (El Ciudadano Ilustre, 2016) about a Nobel Prize-winning author who returns to his hometown for the first time in 40 years.
All screenings are free of charge.



Sweden |ProRes, Color, 116’ |Swedish

Director: Hannes Holm
Cast: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars, Filip Berg


Ove is an ill-tempered, stubborn and isolated old man with strict routines. He not only thinks that all of his neighbors are useless, but also unreservedly declares his feelings to the neighbors. Ove’s life changes abruptly when the new neighbors accidentally crash their car into Ove’s mailbox. The event also marks the beginning of an extraordinary friendship. Adapted from Fredrik Bachman’s novel with the same name, A Man Called Ove is a touching, warm film with a humorous narrative.

With the Contributions of




Greece, United Kingdom, Germany|DCP, Color, 86’|Greek, English, Arabic

Director: Yannis Sakaridis
Cast: Themis Bazaka, Ksenia Dania, Nikkos J. Frangos


Bringing a new perspective to the European refugee crisis, the film is about a Greek nationalist who is obsessed with refugees occupying Amerika Square, one of his favorite neighborhood spots. The film opens with Nako, a near 40 year old, unemployed man who still lives with his parents. Comparing the number of Greeks and non-Greeks living in his apartment, Niko stirs up trouble by proposing a preposterous method for decreasing the number of refugees. The winner of the FIPRESCI prize at the Thessaloniki Film Festival, Amerika Square is a dynamic and passionate take on the refugee crisis, which has been examined frequently in recent years.

With the Contributions of




Romania, France, Sweden, Germany | DCP, Color, 93’ |Romainan

Director: Radu Muntean
Cast: Teodor Corban,Ionut Bora, Liviu Cheloiu


One day, Sandu, whose only expectation from life is to live it in peace, hears an argument taking place in the apartment downstairs. The same night, he finds out that there has been a murder in that apartment. When he realizes that he is the only person who had encountered the suspect, Sandu finds himself torn between exposing the suspect and staying quiet. Nominated for the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival, director Radu Muntan’s film keeps the suspense on a constant level throughout.

With the Contributions of




Spain, Argentina | DCP, Color, 117’ |Spanish

Director: Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat
Cast: Oscar Martínez, Dady Brieva, Andrea Frigerio


Daniel, a successful author living in Europe away from his Argentinian hometown Salas for the past 40 years, wins the Nobel Literature Award. Then, Daniel, whose novels were inspired by his hometown, its daily life and its inhabitants, receives an invitation to accept “The Distinguished Citizen” award. After ruminating over the invitation, he decides to go back to his hometown after so many years. Once he returns to the small town, tragicomic events start taking place one by one. Daniel is held in high esteem like a folk hero at the beginning but soon starts annoying everyone with his snob attitude. The Distinguished Citizen is a cheerful neighborhood film that humorously depicts a small town and the behaviors of its inhabitants from the point of view of a conceited, urban author.   




USA | DCP, Color, 90’ | English

Director: Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis


Whose Streets? is a dramatic documentary about the protests that took place in the town of Ferguson, St. Louis after a young unarmed black man was killed by a white cop, from the subjective viewpoint of activists and people who became activists. With all its starkness, the production portrays the emotions felt by people living in Ferguson during the period right after the tragedy, and their resistance, not for equal rights but for staying alive without sharing the viewpoints of the police and governmental agencies.




Austria| Blu-ray, Color, 121’ |German

Director: Ulrich Seidl

Cast:Maria Hofstätter, Erich Finsches, Gerti Lehner


It is a hot summer; we are at the suburbs of Vienna where loneliness, despair, stagnation and lack of communication prevail. A teacher who has been left high and dry, a private detective, a couple whose marriage is in shambles and an old man who has been widowed years ago all come together when a hitchhiker arrives in their neighborhood. Director Ulrich Seidl portrays the daily lives of a variety of people who share the same environment with his quintessential bold and sharp style.

* Not suitable for audiences under 18 years old.

With the Contributions of




Portugal, France, Switzerland |DCP, Color, 156’ |Portuguese

Director: Pedro Costa

Cast:Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte


Majority of people living in Lisbon’s Fontainhas neighborhood have been relocated to apartments in a new neighborhood. One of the many who had been forced to move, Ventura has also been abandoned by his wife, and spends his days visiting his old neighbors trying to sustain a living in his beloved old neighborhood. The leading European auteur Pedro Costa’s finalfilm Colossal Youth, part of a trilogy about the now non-existent Lisbon neighborhood Fontainhas, sheds light on people who have been stuck between the past and the present through a depiction of Ventura’s daily life and the effects of the Carnation Revolution on the poorest neighborhoods.



Japonya |ProRes, Color, 86’ |Japonca

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Voice: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto


Master of anime, Hayao Miyazaki’s film is a heartwarming, fantastic story about a family. In order to be near their ailing mother at the hospital, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei persuade their father, and move to a house outside the city. After a while, the sisters realize that they are neighbors with the friendly forest spirits living nearby. The big ball of fur, Totoro cheers up the two sisters saddened by their mother’s illness every time he is around, and draws the two into a magical adventure.




Turkey |ProRes, Color, 90’ |Turkish

Director: Yalçın Yelence
Cast: Perran Kutman, Şevket Altuğ, Ercan Yazgan


This heartwarming television series, which was among the productions that rooted a culture of television series in Turkey, depicts the almost extinct neighborhood life towards the late 1980’s as well as the solidarity felt within a neighborhood and neighborly gossip. The impossible love between sister Perihan, the big sister of the whole neighborhood, rushing to help to all in need, and Şakir, who is madly in love with her; curious Melahat, who is dying to know everything that goes on in the neighborhood; all these idiosyncratic characters of the series greet their audience in these first two episodes.



Denmark, Syria| DCP, Color, 104’ |Arabic

Director: Firas Fayyad


The dramatic film that won the Grand Jury Prize for a documentary at the Sundance Film Festival focuses on Khaled, Subhi and Mahmoud, all members of the White Helmets who volunteer in rescuing people from the wreckage in Syria. Filmed during 2015-2016, the documentary follows the hardships encountered by the three who never for a minute consider leaving their cities where innocent people keep being attacked. Last Men in Aleppo mirrors a remarkable courage while depicting the war that’s reshaping our world today from a different angle.

With the Contributions of



THE COW (GAAV), 1969

Iran |DVD, Black & White, 105’| Farsi

Director:Dariush Mehrjui

Cast:Ezzatolah Entezami, Mahin Shahabi, Ali Nassirian


The second feature length film from the leading Iranian New Wave director Dariush Mehrjui, Cow is also the film that spearheaded the opening up of Iranian cinema to the world. The film is based on the theater play by Gholanrv-Hüseyin Saedi—who was also one of the screenplay writers of the film—and tells the story of Masht Hasan, the proud owner of the only cow in a poor village. When the cow unexpectedly dies after Hasan goes to the city, the villagers are scared to tell him the truth and instead say that the cow has been lost. Hasan, whose whole personality and status are largely dependent on the cow, begins searching for the cow with a gradually growing obsession that ultimately evolves into madness.



Philippines, Germany| HDD, Color, 75’ |Filipino, Tagalog

Director: Khavn de la Cruz

Cast:Timothy Castillo, Marife Necesito, Jim Rocky Tangco


We are faced with the most irritating faces of life in the shantytowns. With a fierce and humorous attitude, Director Kahvn de la Cruz presents a shocking documentary about the streets of Manila, where staying alive is a feat, as well as the poverty, injustice and violence faced by people on the borders of society.

* Not suitable for audiences under 18 years old.