I don’t know what “Bes Vakit,” the title of the much-acclaimed 2006 movie written and directed by Reha Erdem, means, though I’m sure that the English-language title, “Times and Winds”” is not a literal translation of it. The movie focuses on three youths in a village on the Dardanelles, somewhere in the vicinity of Troy. It is not far inland, though mostly mountains are shown, except in the backgrounds (from the same spot) of shots of the village which water is visible in the background. (These proceed backwards at the five times for calls to prayer, starting at night, followed by evening, afternoon, noon, and morning.)
Though the land is parched, there is one torrential downpour over the course of the movie. The youngsters are animated by homicidal fantasies except when they lie, seemingly dead on the ground (not visibly breathing and in some cases partly buried by dead leaves or dirt, like murder victims whose corpses have yet to be found).
Omer fervently wishes his father, the local imam, dead and does various things to try to speed terminal illness, including emptying the capsules of medicine prescribed for the father who flagrantly prefers Omer’s younger brother, the tattle-tale Ali.
Yakup (who is an only child) is in love with his (female, bare-headed) teacher. One day he finds his father window-peeping at her house, and develops his own parricidal desires. The third of the 12-13-yer-olds, Yidiz is not conscious of wanting to kill her baby brother, who loudly cries all of the time and whose care she is frequently tasked with, but at least unconsciously she tries to silence him permanently. Plus there is an orphaned goatherd, Davut, who is beaten by the owner of the flock (Ahmet) for poaching four almonds and I think later arranges an accidental fall for the mean older man. And Yakup’s father is still being beaten and derided by HIS father.
Mood is unsubtly enforced by the music of Estonian (and Russian Orthodox convert) minimalist/mystic Arvo Pärt (including his “Te Deum”) more than by the spare dialogue. I guess the movie can be called “poetic,” and certainly “dreamy,” but the poetry and dreams are very harsh. A crone explains, “That’s the way of men. Sweet as little boys, then they become like their fathers when they become fathers themselves.”
Also see my reviews of three films directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan:
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia