Poor Translation Keeps "Ships" From Sailing Review

No need for trust. Believing is enough.

Ali (Ugur Uzunel) is experiencing a debilitating dose of ennui. His father wants him to settle down and help him run his business, but Ali has no interest in that whatsoever. Instead, Ali is consumed by his dreams of a cargo ship named Vamos that he thinks will take him off to his true purpose in life. Eda (M. Sitare Akbas) is a young graffiti artist that seems to be painting the same ship that Ali sees in his dreams. The two meet and agree to find the ship and leave together. Eda is having trouble at home as her father has returned, apparently after years of unexplained absence, and her mother embraces the chance to have the family back together again. I'm not sure what the fish meant, though.

Ships (2013) or Ferah Feza (which Google translates into "Spacious Space") is an interesting movie with an ethereal tone. Written and directed by Elif Refig, it's a beautiful film to look at. But one glaring flaw is that the audio sync is one or two seconds ahead or behind the image. Since I don't understand Turkish, it didn't create the kind of headache it almost certainly will for those who don't need to read the dialogue. It did, however, undermine my appreciation of the performances and regularly took me out of the action as I heard the noises before or after they happened. I could also tell that the subtitles were haphazardly translated, cutting corners or not making sense. How much of the latter can be explained by Refig's writing, I could not say. I would have liked to seen this film on blu ray with a well-synced audio track because what is still apparent is the soul of this film and I'd like to see it at its best.


A short film from Refig called Man to Be (2008).

"Ships" is on sale March 31, 2015 and is not rated. Drama. Written and directed by Elif Refig. Starring M Sitare Akbas.

Jason Ratigan • Staff Writer

A lawyer-turned-something-else with a strong appreciation for film and television.  He knows he can't read every great book ever written, but seeing every good movie ever made is absolutely doable.  Check out his other stuff on Wordpress.


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