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TIFF 2018 Review: “Saf” (2018) ★★★★


The refugee concept, their struggle, and even the job they get or lose due to any reason has not been tackled much in movies, which is strange. That was mainly the reason I made my way to the theater to watch “SAF”. Surprisingly, it was believable, and in a way, presented the harsh truth of poverty, fight for jobs or even for the house people can lose due to the big construction companies wanting to buy the area due to its monetary value.

As you can see, “SAF” explores three things: 1. Bulat Construction wants to build a high-rise in Dullud, but to achieve its goal, the residents must agree to sell their houses; 2: Kamil finds a job in the same construction site as a digger but gets a low wage as he does not have a license. Ammar, a Syrian who has a license, was unable to get the same job. The two men will find themselves in very tense arguments that at some point will lead to an unfortunate outcome. 3: Remziye, Kamil’s wife, holds the key to the get at least minimal success for her family, but chooses to do nothing, which she probably never realizes.

Written and directed by Ali Vatansever, “SAF” explores the ultimate sacrifice for a family’s well-being, the land the residents live in that might be lost any minute, and the response of the same residents when Kamil found a job on the construction site that wanted to kick everyone out of their houses. But in the end, it’s about a job one person can’t afford losing, and the other one to get it any cost. It’s about providing the daily bread for one’s family and the lack of opportunities that led to a confrontation that may not end peacefully if the stakes are too high.

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