Nâzım and Cinema
The first common Greek-Turk work “Fena Yol” (Bad Way) (1933) discussing the subjects of fate and providence was adapted from the novel of a well-known Greek writer Grigorios Ksenopoulos. In 1933 he wrote a scenario for an adaptation of a German musical comedy by Max Neufeld “Sehnsucht 202” under the name “Milyon Avcıları” (Million Hunters). In the success of “Aysel, Bataklı Damın Kızı”(Aysel, the girl of swamp roof)Nâzım’s scenario had quite a significant share. „ Güneşe Doğru” (Towards the Sun)
which was directed by Nâzım himself was his first significant step to free the cinema from the boundaries of theatre.
Other scenarios he wrote under Mümtaz Osman nickname: “Tosun Paşa (1939) (Tosun Pasha) , Şehvet Kurbanı (1940) (Victim of Lust) , Kıskanç (199-42) (Jealous), Kahveci Güzeli (1941) (Cafe Beauty) „Kızılırmak Karakoyun” (1947).
In 1951 when he was set free Nâzım wrote the scenarios for the films “Üçüncü Selim’in Gözdesi” (III Selim’s Favorite One), “Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa” (Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha) and then “Lale Devri” (Tulip Era). His last scenario “Balıkçı Güzeli- 1002’inci Gece” (Fisher Beauty- 1002nd Night)was completed two years later his flee to Russia where he was free at last.
By looking at the scenarios he left behind, Nâzım says: “My sorrow is they do not ask real scenarios from me, the scenarios I can doubtlessly put my signature under.”
In his exile years he wrote “En Büyük Kötülük” (The Biggest Wickedness) for Hungarian cinema. In Poland he rewrote “Yusuf ile Zeliha” ( Yusuf and Zeliha)to make a film… In former Czechoslovakia and Bulgari “Bir Aşk Masalı” (A love story)scenario was made a film. However Nâzım did not like both of his films owing to their huge sets resembling old German films…
In his 1953 dated „Fransa-Vietnam” scenario, he talks about the transformation juvenile Piyer has after he goes to Vietnam with imperialist French army and experiences the reality; but it was not made a film.
After His Death
“Bir Aşk Masalı” which tells the story of Ferhad and Şirin who are the figures of Romeo and Juliet in the East and “Yaşamak Güzel Şey be Kardeşim” (Life is Beautiful, Man) were made films in Russia only after his death. In Azerbaijan his scenario “Enayi” (Idiot)was made a film…
Even in 1990s in Turkey, it was not possible to make a film on Nâzım’ s life since his name was on the list of prohibited. After “Su Da Yanar” (Water too Burns)which is according to Ali Özgentürk a “delirium”, Başar Sabuncu’s “Yolcu” (Passenger)and finally Biket İlhan’s « Mavi Gözlü Dev (2006)» (A giant with Blue Eyes) films met with the audience.
Nâzım is not only a great Turkish poet and a play writer; he is also a unique scenarist and director…this article opens a small window to his least known feature.
Turkish Academic And Film Specialist