In a unidentified snowbound place without a sense of time passing, there is a obvious Narnian magic from the start. First, we encounter a man (Sermet Yesil) falling over himself with joy (or anxiety?!) as he enters its hilly outer reaches, and soon sees below him towers, a river and rooftops. A girl on the river-bank (Neptün, as she comes to be named (Türkü Turan)), wails in grief because her brother has fallen into the ceaseless water. The man, Kosmos (as he calls himself), bravely rescues him, and, with exhausting bear-hugs, breathes life into him.
Later, we see Kosmos praying alone in a large sanctuary, being thanked by the boy’s father and seeming awkward, although never awkward to accept tea (and massive amounts of sugar) on the house. He is a visitor, a guest, welcomed for words from sources such as the Book of Ecclesiastes, even if his meaning may not be clear. However, when given work in the café, he wanders off, ignores his duties in favour of generally humane causes, and does what he thinks fit to the situation.
I do like him, and value his other-worldliness, but I do not know if we need to. We needn’t approve his errors either: the human misunderstanding of mistaking sex for love, or feeling compassion and consequently offering someone a way out. Kosmos should be a puzzle, a prompt to think about this world and where everyone is in their relations, but in a gentle, non-didactic way. This is non-commercial filmmaking, and it does not preach, but leaves us to find our way without rushing itself or us.
I therefore disagree with what is quoted in IMDb’s Google entry, as ‘A Plodding Art-House Misfire’ (the rating there is 7.2), and would recommend ‘this bizarre, magical and rather weird film’, the kind of film that gets five Torches of Truth from me, I’m afraid.
Anthony has awarded Kosmos five Torches of Truth.