The Coop

Turkey submitted "Kümes" (English captions) as a World Premiere to the 2016 Seattle International Film Festival. We join a four-child family in a quiet, 1950s, mountain village. The wife develops fatal tuberculosis and goes away to die at a sanitarium. She tells her husband she has found a young, infertile woman for him to marry who can help him raise their children.

Six months later she has been miraculously cured and sent back to her village. Then things get interesting, as the women must establish a pecking order.

Actor/director Ufuk Bayraktar has assembled this award-winning cast:
  • Ufuk Bayraktar plays Suleyman, the husband and father who suddenly finds himself alone. He really DOES need help so he starts negotiations. The bride price is a bit more than he can afford, but...
  • Hasibe Eren - Saniye made her suggestion out of concern for her children but when she comes back home, she can't help but resent that new (younger) wife.
  • Selen Domaç - Hayriye quickly bonds with the infant girl Saniye had to leave behind. When she is healed and returns, Hayriye doesn't want to give up that baby.
Subsistence farming looks like a lot of back-breaking work! When you see the tools and techniques they used in the 1950s, you can only hope things are better today! The title comes from the chickens they have in and around their home. One has quit laying so the husband says they will eat it because there is no point in feeding it. Things are pretty basic at this level.

All of the characters feel authentic, the production design is invisible and because we are seeing unknown faces, this seems real from beginning to end. That includes that skirmish over the pecking order. Very real; very impressive!