February 2006
Film of the Month - February
Mark Merlino - Home page

Battal Gazi'nin Oğlu
Battal Gazi'nin Oğlu is a classic Turkish film produced in 1974, starring  Cüneyt
Arkın. The film is set in medieval Malatya, where there is conflict between Byzantines
and the Turks. The film is a simplistic action-adventure and is the equivalent of Robin
Hood or Superman films. The main character learns that he is the son of a now dead
hero, Battal Gazi.
There are many parallels between the plot in this film and other plots found in cinema
and literature, the life of Moses, and the sword in the stone. It should be watched as a
light, low budget film and it will be quite enjoyable. There is a clear good versus evil,
almost as in a cartoon. In this film, you have the Byzantines, whose characters are
evil and merciless, mistreating poor, though very resilient and strong Turks. Like in
Robin Hood, there is little doubt who will triumph in the end.
If you are interested in seeing a cartoonish portrayal of a folk hero from a Turkish
perspective, this film will be of interest to you.