Flying Film Festival Presents BABA Film Review — A Father a Bit Different From the Others

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Flying Film Festival BABA

A black and white photo of a town pans on the screen as these words are spoken:

“There is a saying in Turkish: Words are your prisoners until they come out of your mouth, but you are the prisoner of your words once they come out of your mouth.”

A seemingly old man, evidenced by the graying hair and toothless grin, shows up on the screen, beautiful light blue and lilac sky behind him as he lights a cigarette.

The scene cuts to him and his adult daughter sitting comfortably on a couch in what looks like their home. His daughter asks him questions, they laugh, they crack jokes, and argue playfully. At one point they argue about whether or not the stories Ceylan tells actually happened, or if he just glamorizes them. A nostalgic air wafts between them and throughout the film.

Flying Film Festival BABA

Baba, which means “father” in Turkish, is a 13-minute short film doing a feature on a Turkish man who migrated to the Netherlands. All throughout the film we see footage of Baba (real name Ceylan) modeling in his colorful fashion collection, posing and dancing goofily in front of the camera, and throwback footage of him playing music in a band. We learn that Ceylan was the first Turkish teacher at the conservatory, and how he adamantly rejects what society says a father should be. He shares his wisdom on happiness, ambitions, and analyzing one’s sorrows, making this film do more than just putting a smile on our faces.

Flying Film Festival BABA

The film is littered with captivating cinematography, in this viewer’s opinion. We see slow-mo shots of Ceylan sitting in tall grass with yellow flowers blooming, and standing on objects that emphasis his costumes as he poses.

You, just like this reviewer, will likely find Ceylan both likeable and relatable.

If you’re looking to watch a short feature story that will make you smile, check Baba out. However, because this film is set in the Netherlands, there are subtitles throughout, so if those bother you, you may want to skip this.


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Ceylan Utlu
Serin Utlu
Ilias Ali Moen


Director: Sarah Blok
Design: Lisa Konno
Producer: Jasper Boon
Music: Ricky Cherim
Editer: Tessel Flora de Vries
Sound: Gijs Domen

For more information on BABA, go to the Flying Film Festival website.

Images courtesy of Flying Film Festival

Breanna Henry

About the Author: Breanna Henry

Almost 10 years ago Breanna sat in her tiny room she shared with her younger sister in Houston, Texas writing songs, stories, and poems on the rough carpet. She mimicked songs she heard on the radio and imitated books she's read from the Scholastic Book Fair. By fifth grade, she knew creative writing would soon be her passion. Now a sophomore at Loyola University New Orleans, she has published works on her university's newspaper, literary journal, and on her own blog. When she's not writing and working towards her Mass Communication and English Writing degree, she's watching Criminal Minds re-runs, doing photoshoots with friends, and dancing wildly in her dorm room while music blasts through her speakers.

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