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Steam - The Turkish Bath

58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Tired of his troubled marriage, an Italian businessman's life changes dramatically after he learns that an aunt has left him property in Istanbul. Francesco Alessandro Gassman arrives to the Turkish city hoping that he can take care of the matter swiftly and return to Italy. He is surprised to discover that the property is actually one of the last traditional hamams (old-fashioned bath houses) in Turkey. The family that has been running the Turkish bath for his aunt, takes him in and Francesco gradually rediscovers a long-missing sense of family as he accustoms himself to Turkish culture. Matters become complicated though when the couple's daughter Fusun falls for Francesco, who discovers himself increasingly and disconcertingly interested in her darkly handsome brother Mehmet. The situation comes to a head when Francesco's wife arrives to make an announcement.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alessandro Gassman, Francesca d'Aloja, Carlo Cecchi
  • Directors: Ferzan Ozpetek
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005P2BLC4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,672 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2000
As far as I know this movie was promoted in abroad by focusing its romantic gay relationship but It means a lot to me. As a Turk who lives in Istanbul, movie reminded me what we are losing as time passes by. Relations, values and beautiful Istanbul. It is totally a nostalgie movie which can bore most of the people who are get used to see action movies since it is a so relaxing movie. Scenario just reflects the Turkish life and the diverse cultural heritage of Istanbul. The locations that are seen in the movie are not movie sets but the districts of the old city where you can still feel the past with its architecture and religous places.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Blue Frog on December 2, 2000
Verified Purchase
Once again, I'm a bit taken aback so many reviewers did not understand this film. My advice is this: if you're a Hollywood or porn fan, you'll probably feel the same as the viewers here who offered negative reviews. But if you're up for experiencing an intelligent and aesthetically beautiful film, you will enjoy this one.

This film is so many things, but summarized it's a piece of exotica (the East as seen through the eyes of foreigners) which takes advantage of its distant locale to peer back and dissect the social flaws of the West, and the forgotten humanity of the East as well. It accomplishes as much through a deceased main character, an Italian who late in life discovered her place and contentment in Turkey. Through the living characters, we discover her tale and journey.

I say this is an intelligent film as there are no black or white characters here; every character is multi-dimensional. No one character is portrayed as more valid than another. Nowhere else is this more evident than in the character of wife, who to the astonishment of the lovers shows up in Turkey unannounced. And in a brilliant twist, it is this character who is the hereoine of the film.

This a peek into a strangely beautiful place. It profoundly moved me.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Enzo Lombard on August 27, 2000
This was one of my favorite films of last year, about an impatient yuppie with all the modern conveniences in Rome that becomes intoxicated by timeless Istanbul, Turkey. This is a very subtle, magical film that was a fairly mainstream success in Italy. If you are looking for the american gay-styled "porn with great locations" you will be very disappointed. Ancient sexuality, wafting from young women to young men in their sexual prime, is too complex for our very modern, narrow perceptions of gay and straight. It is more about feeling overwhelmed in the modern world and wanting to be taken away. The acting is sexy in a very sophisticated way that will be completely lost on all but the most seasoned American film viewer. Treat yourself.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karl A. Zeigler on September 24, 2000
"Steam" is yet another film ("American Beauty" and "Fight Club") which examines our lack of fulfillment in conventional society. "Steam" sets itself apart by being life-affirming; though not a "happy" film in the American sense, it shows that happiness through pursuit of one's desires is possible.
Those hoping to see an expensive porn movie will be disappointed, though it is not lacking in eroticism due to the superb acting (those stares!) and location.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By London on August 20, 2002
This is a superb film - very atmospheric, and captures Istanbul perfectly. The description of the winds is spot on. It's a film about self discovery and getting balance in life (in the same way that Local Hero was) and about beoming entraced by an idea, and a different approach to life.
It is not a 'gay' movie at all, despite the cover and the hype. Ok there is an element (without giving the story away), but it is a sensitive and clever film exploring a group of people.
It's not a 'romp' movie. Anyone who buys it for watching alone for self comfort will be hugely disappointed. Anyone who buys it for a great story and tremendous atmoshere will have an excellent evening.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Flora Beart on November 12, 2000
If you're "lower chakra", this movie will disappoint you. This movie beautifully portrays the many forms that love can take, including the possibility that a place can also fall in love with a person. (I like this idea a lot.) The character Mehmet talks about the 'way of the hamam - where you learn the love for all things'.
This movie also shows a way of life in Turkey that is perhaps disappearing; an old style of architecture that is perhaps endangered there, as in the whole world, by developers. And this movie shows the wonderful ways of the Turkish people -they wrote the book on hospitality, and so many of them are totally psychic - if you travel to Turkey, someone somewhere will read your palm or your coffee grounds and will be amazingly accurate. They seem to be able to see right into your soul.
This is a wonderful movie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Carpenter on October 25, 2000
...
What I enjoyed most about STEAM was glimpsing into a depiction of native life in a typical Turkish neighborhood. I was absorbed in the dynamics that propelled this typical Turkish family and appreciated the sense of community they established with the people around them inside and outside their front door, often using food and the rituals surrounding it as a bridge for communication. Music, vocal and instrumental, also features in this story. All in all, I found the story to be enticingly exotic.
Clearly, the main theme of the film has little to do with the Americanized, romanticized, eroticized idea of bath houses. Rather, it's all about how a change of scenery (more specifically, a cultural transplant) can spark personal understanding and change. The main couple, Francesco and Marta, bring home the bacon by working as architects and interior designers. They make things look nice. Their lives are largely superficial, including how they interact with one another in Italy. Francesco is physically beautiful, but Turkey and learning more about his late aunt proves him to be kind and painfully sentimental, too. Marta is thoroughly modern, but she eventually proves that she's nowhere near as shallow as she appears at first flush.
My favorite scenes are those that occur between Marta and her husband's lover. They barely speak a word to each other, but there's no question of what each is thinking.
I admit that I didn't adore this film, but I think it's redeeming qualities far outnumber its faults. In fact, its only glaring fault is a plot twist involving Francesco near the end of the film.
STEAM is a softly drawn, sometimes abstract story. If you don't enjoy filling in some of the blanks for yourself or if you equate the word "sensual" with "sexy,", then you should probably avoid STEAM and seek out lighter fare that requires less work or thought from the viewer.
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