Memed My Hawk (1984)

Memed My Hawk Poster

In 1920s Turkey, a young peasant is smitten with a beautiful young girl, who has been promised in marriage to the fat, dullard cousin of the province's powerful and corrupt governor. When an assassination attempt is made against the official, the young man flees his village and joins up with a group of outlaws fighting against the wealthy and powerful landowners who control the lives of the locals and make life miserable for them. The outlaws' successes prompt the governor to call in the Turkish army to capture or kill them.

"Memed My Hawk" is a 1984 British-Yugoslavian co-production, a film adaptation of the very first novel written by the well-known Turkish author Yasar Kemal. Directed by Peter Ustinov, the story follows the life of Memed, a rebel caught in Turkey's backwoods in the '20s, withstanding versus a feudal system. The movie features a global cast that consists of Peter Ustinov, Herbert Lom, Denis Quilley, and Michael Elphick.

Plot Overview
The plot focuses on the lead character Memed (played by Simon Dutton), a peasant boy living in the harsh feudal society of the Taurus Mountains in the 1920s. The movie depicts Memed's resist the ruthless village chieftain, Abdi Aga, who is understood for his extreme brutality and exploitation of the poor.

Under Abdi Aga's terrible program, Memed's life is filled with challenge and oppression. In an ultimate act of rebellion, Memed elopes with the gorgeous Hatche, a fellow villager and his love interest, only to be quickly recorded and forced to deal with the effects of his actions. This series of occasions slowly transforms Memed from a modest peasant into a well known and feared hooligan.

Character Development
The titular character, Memed, is the core of the narrative, developing from a naive kid into a sign of resistance against tyranny. The film uses Memed's singular journey through desolate regions, his confrontations with harsh chieftains, and has a hard time as a fugitive to humanize the character. The portrayal of Memed's multi-layered character-- his contumacy, romanticism, and deep kindness-- includes depth to the story.

On the other hand, Herbert Lom's Abdi Aga is a character one likes to dislike. Avaricious, conniving, and ruthlessly overbearing, Abdi's character acts as a figure who embodies the socio-economic misfortune dealt with by the peasantry.

"Memed My Hawk" primarily checks out styles such as rebellion, survival, love, and flexibility. It supplies an extensive study of social subjugation and illustrates the alarming consequences activated by the imbalance of power, representing the metaphorical fight of the impoverished against feudal lords. Memed's struggle and change to 'Memed My Hawk' symbolize a rebellion that fans a flame of hope among citizens, recurring the styles of durability, self-reliance, defeat of oppression, and the pursuit of justice.

Cinematic Style and Aesthetic
Peter Ustinov preserves a classical technique towards the movie's execution with intricate set designs and costumes, providing an authentic and aesthetically attractive representation of rural Turkey in the 1920s. The movie's cinematography and mise-en-scène convincingly transport the viewers to the Taurus Mountain's rugged background, improving the story's contextual significance.

"Memed My Hawk" is an interesting drama, combining socio-political problems with individual trials and tribulations. Regardless of its historical and cultural specificity, the film manages to resonate widely thanks to its styles of heroism, disobedience, and struggle against injustice. Memed, the hawk of the mountains, becomes a beacon of hope, a sign of defiance versus the authoritarianism of Abdi Aga, bringing the timeless conflict of subjugation and resistance to life.

Top Cast

  • Peter Ustinov (small)
    Peter Ustinov
    Abdi Aga
  • Herbert Lom (small)
    Herbert Lom
    Ali Safa Bey
  • Denis Quilley (small)
    Denis Quilley
  • Michael Elphick (small)
    Michael Elphick
  • Simon Dutton (small)
    Simon Dutton
  • Leonie Mellinger
  • Relja Baši? (small)
    Relja Baši?
    Mad Durdu
  • Edward Burnham (small)
    Edward Burnham
    Naked Man
  • Ernest Clark (small)
    Ernest Clark
    Hatche's Father
  • Rosalie Crutchley (small)
    Rosalie Crutchley
  • Walter Gotell (small)
    Walter Gotell
    Sgt. Asim