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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [Blu-ray] (2012)

Muhammet Uzuner , Yilmaz Erdogan , Nuri Bilge Ceylan  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel
  • Directors: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007FDT0LU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,253 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


"Anatolia is a cop movie and a road movie - but mostly it s GORGEOUS CINEMA." --Andrew O Hehir, Salon

"A masterpiece. A police procedural that slowly gains the quality of a collective dream." --New York Magazine

"Ravishingly atmospheric. A meditative masterpiece of a policier." --Ella Taylor, NPR

Product Description

Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia is the new film from the celebrated director of Distant and Climates. In the dead of night, a group of men among them, a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect drive through the Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can t remember where he buried the body. As night wears on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators own hidden secrets come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin.

SPECIAL EDITION Blu-ray includes over 3 hours of bonus material!

- BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: The Making of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011, 92 minutes)
- Interview with the Director (24 minutes)
- Anatolia in Cannes (48 minutes): Photocall, TVCannes Videos, Press Conference, Red Carpet Gala, Award Ceremony
- Lost in Thought (2012, HD, 24 minutes), a visual essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive
- Theatrical Trailer
- Booklet featuring introduction to Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
[This is a review of the film, not the Blu-Ray itself, which has not yet been released.]

A beautifully shot, deliberately paced existentialist meditation on crime, relationships, and truth. Shot mostly in gorgeous long takes that take full advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio, the film requires (and rewards) patient viewing. The first half of the film, in which a late-night caravan of law enforcement officials drive two murder suspects to a series of nearly identical rural wells, looking for the location of a buried body, is brilliant. It echoes Waiting for Godot, as the seemingly endless search for the body fades into the background, and the focus turns to conversations about personal problems, petty bureaucracy, differing values, and the meaning of life. As the film continues, different members of the caravan wax and wane in importance, each offering a different perspective on life and one's place in the world. The final act of the film -- which occurs back in town the following day -- drags a bit, but contains powerful revelations.

Despite it's subtle metaphysical explorations, this film is also a highly realistic police procedural. It is very faint praise to say that this film is the anti-CSI, but it's cynical views of truth and justice contrast starkly with TV procedurals. A vain prosecutor basks in his role and makes up facts for convenience, no one has remembered to bring a body bag (or a hearse) for the corpse, the gendarmes are more concerned about where municipal boundaries fall than anything else, a critical medical discovery is fudged, there are rumors the murder victim has been seen alive in neighboring towns, and nothing is wrapped up in an hour, let alone 150 minutes...

This is a film for patient viewers who enjoy the liesurely-paced works of Malick, von Trier, Kiarostami, Tarkovsky or other auteurs of so-called Contemporary Contemplative Cinema.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time in Anatolia March 4, 2012
Anatolia is not an easy film, and those expecting a mystery will probably be disappointed. It is a dark, atmospheric movie--the night scenes are claustrophobic and spattered with little beauties; the dialog is at times funny (especially during a heated argument about yogurt), but as the story progress it becomes oppressive (intentionally, I think). The landscape, which is often mentioned in reviews, is not necessarily beautiful, but desolate and repeating, marked by landmarks which are almost indiscernible from one another, especially in the dark (this old bridge, or that one, this fountain or that one, this plowed field or that plowed field). In the end, I found the movie difficult to sit through, almost exhausting, and I think much of the meaning is to be found the critique of language, and its place in the process of law and order in this small Turkish community. I felt like I was supposed to understand what being a man or woman means in this narrative (gender seems important, and desire), but I come up without any surprising answers to that question. In fact, the film doesn't reach many conclusions, and outside of a scene where the search party is served tea, by the beautiful daughter of a local village head, there weren't many moments in Anatolia where it felt like there was something really glimmering below the surface. It is an interesting film, and all the performances are strong. It is less eventful, grittier, and more cerebral than I thought it would be. I will probably watch it again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
It is by complete coincidence that only 3 months ago, I watch one of director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's earlier movies, the beautiful "Climates" movie from 2007, on DVD (see my review posted here on Amazon). When I saw that his latest movie hit the theatre, I couldn't wait to see it (saw it the Landmark E Street theatre in Washington).

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (2011 release from Turkey; 150 min.) bring the (apparently based on true events) story of a group of men trying to finish off a murder investigation by locating the body of the victim in the Anatolian region of Turkey. The movie starts at dusk and covers the next 24 hrs. The group (traveling in 3 cars) go from one geographic area to the next as the confessed killer tries to remember where exactly he buried the victim, but he has trouble recalling the exact setting, as he was drunk when he murdered the victim. But eventually, they come to the right spot. The body is taken to the village for a final autopsy. I am leaving some details out, but that is pretty much the main story of the movie. Generally, I don't post the entire plot of the movie in my reviews but I make an exception here, because the story line is not the main point of the movie. Indeed, the movie is instead a study of characters, and simply observes. Check out the scene where, when the group takes a break and has dinner in a local outpost, the beautiful teenage daughter of the houselord brings out tea for the group. That scene alone (which probably takes about 10 min. or so) is worth watching the movie for in and of itself, just outstanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The polar opposite of a Hollywood action thriller February 7, 2013
By cs211
"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (OUATIA) concerns itself with a murder, criminals, and officers of the law, but there ends all similarities with any Hollywood action thriller. Instead, OUATIA is a Turkish inaction mesmerizer.

Very little actually happens in the movie: a group of law officers drive through the nighttime countryside with two suspects, looking for a victim's body. I won't disclose any more about the specifics of the plot than that, but it suffices to say that by the end of the movie, not much has actually happened. Instead, OUATIA casts a spell over the viewer by slowing down time and inducing the state-of-mind that the human brain gets into at around 3am during an all-nighter. When one's tired body is pulling the mind towards sleep, and the mind is not quite sure if the thoughts it is experiencing are reality or a dream or a hallucination - that is the state that OUATIA induces in the viewer.

A key means of achieving this state is the cinematography of OUATIA, which beautifully captures the hauntingly spare countryside of Anatolia, Turkey at night. To allow the scenery to cast its spell, Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and his crew do not film the actors in harsh lighting, which would cause the background scenery to turn black by contrast. Rather, the lighting on the subjects is dim, and they somehow cast or capture enough light on the background scenery to have it show up as a rich moving canvas, with grasses and leaves moving in the breeze. The effect is truly mesmerizing.

OUATIA is mostly concerned with the relationships between the men who set out on this journey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product and service!
Published 25 days ago by Thomas DeRoberto
5.0 out of 5 stars a new level of height in movie making
Two and a half hours long, it better be good--I said to my dad, who recommended "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia". I expect all movies I watch to be like Lincoln or Gravity. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Erol Esen
5.0 out of 5 stars What You See Is Not What You See
Unbelievably enjoyable portrait of deceptions of self and other. This compares with Bergman existential forays, and my therapist recommended it to me and my wife who thoroughly... Read more
Published 10 months ago by G. Hunt
3.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time In Anatolia
I think everyone would know by now what to expect in Swedish movies, or Italian, or Japanese or Chinese, or "Bollywood", that they are driven by a culture. Read more
Published 15 months ago by derck a. gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, Strange, Beautiful
What a strange and beautiful movie. I haven't even finished, but one of several unique things about the movie prompted me to write, namely, the story has no center whatsoever. Read more
Published 16 months ago by M. Bamford
5.0 out of 5 stars Turkish cinema at its best
It is a great turkish movie, an atmospheric police investigation for the thruth in a turkish countryside. Beautiful photography by a renown director.
Published 16 months ago by MimarCharles
4.0 out of 5 stars The antithesis of the conventional crime movie
Nuir Bilge Ceylon's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" is the complete antithesis to the conventional American crime drama, which routinely features detectives with matinee-idol looks,... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Roland E. Zwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia is a great film, and I want to end this review of it by returning to the idea that this is Ceylan's greatest film, and explaining why. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cosmoetica
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but slow-paced 'police procedural', as Turkish authorities...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Once Upon a Time in Anatolia' first appears to be a police procedural, involving an investigation into a murder that occurred... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Turfseer
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Moving
The cinematography is amazing. The story is compelling. A very well made movie, with lots of nuances. Seeing it in the movie theater was a moving experience. Read more
Published 21 months ago by swingy
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