Kosmos (3 stars)


A beautiful but often impenetrable metaphysical drama from Turkish filmmaker Reha Erdem

An icy blast of metaphysical Turkish drama, Reha Erdem’s beautiful, often impenetrable Kosmos delights and frustrates in equal measures. With a growing reputation on the European festival circuit, and as a commercials director, Erdem has constructed a fable of great visual power but elusive meaning that will appeal to students of the David Lynch school of filmmaking as deliberately pretentious art.

Played with haunting intensity by theatre actor Sermet Yesil, Kosmos appears in the frozen landscape near the city of Kars, where he rescues a small boy from drowning. The act of kindness brings him into an ambiguous relationship with the boy’s sister Neptun (Turku Turan), to whom he identifies himself by the name Battal. It also sets him against the hostile townspeople of the village, who are initially welcoming but soon lose patience with Kosmos’s quasi-biblical chat and birdlike behaviour.

Erdem’s painterly, Bruegel-esque compositions depict the inclement weather and local wildlife to striking effect, while throwing in such confusing narrative elements as a crashed spacecraft. While the precise meaning of Erdem’s religious and political analogies may be frustratingly obscure to audiences, Turkish and non-Turkish alike, Kosmos shows plenty of evidence of a rare visual talent at work.

Selected release from Fri 15 June.

Kosmos - trailer


  • 3 stars
  • 2010
  • Turkey/Bulgaria
  • 2h 2min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Reha Erdem
  • Written by: Reha Erdem
  • Cast: Sermet Yesil, Türkü Turan, Serkan Keskin
  • UK release: 15 June 2012

Kosmos (Yesil) rescues a small boy from drowning, an act of kindness that draws him into an ambiguous relationship with the boy's sister Neptun (Turan). Erdem's metaphysical fable has great visual power and beauty, but the meaning is frustratingly elusive.

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