Pains of Autumn

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Pains of Autumn
Theatrical poster
Directed by Tomris Giritlioğlu
Produced by Bahadir Atay
Fatih Enes Omeroglu
Screenplay by Etyen Mahçupyan
Nilgün Öneş
Tayfun Pirselimoğlu
Ali Ulvi Hünkar
Starring Murat Yıldırım
Beren Saat
Okan Yalabık
Music by Tamer Çıray
Distributed by Özen Film
Release date
  • January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23)
Running time
112 mins.
Country Turkey
Language Turkish
Box office $3,388,636

Pains of Autumn (Turkish: Güz Sancısı) is a 2009 Turkish drama film, directed by Tomris Giritlioğlu, based on the novel by Yılmaz Karakoyunlu. The film, which went on nationwide general release across Turkey on January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23), was one of the highest-grossing Turkish films of 2009.


Production for the film, originally planned for 2002, commenced on 1 June 2008. The film was shot on location in Istanbul, Turkey from 3 August - 29 September 2008. Post production was completed on 23 January 2009.[1][2][3]


The story is set in Istanbul, during the Pogrom of September 1955. Behçet (Murat Yildirim) is the only son of a father, in whom the government and the bureaucracy take a close interest due to his strong influence in Antakya. While he is working as an assistant researcher in the faculty of law in Istanbul, he falls under the sway of the extreme nationalist movement as a result of his upbringing and the influential role model of his father. The only thing that causes Behçet to stumble on this is Elena, a woman he secretly observes from his apartment. She is a Greek prostitute, who has been exploited by her grandmother after her mother had left them. Elena is aware that she is being observed by Behçet and falls in love with him. They get close to each other which does not please Behçet's father and his political party. The death of his friend Suat and the role that his father plays with the leaders of the party to exterminate the opposition and even the tolerated voices force Behçet to reconsider his political belonging. During the Istanbul pogrom, riots which were organized by Turkish mob attacks directed at Istanbul's Greek minority, Behçet finds Elena dead after being hit by an activist. He takes her and remembers the words she said while lying on the bed in her apartment.



The film opened in 180 screens across Turkey on January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23) at number one in the Turkish box office chart with an opening weekend gross of $555,543.[4]

Gross Chart
Date Territory Screens Rank Opening Weekend Gross Total Gross As Of
January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23) Turkey 180 1 $555,543 $3,105,177 8/23/09
April 30, 2009 (2009-04-30) Greece 17 4 $90,966 $254,157 5/24/09
April 30, 2009 (2009-04-30) Germany 21 37 $15,447 $28,179 5/10/09
May 1, 2009 (2009-05-01) Austria 3 36 $1,123 $1,123 5/3/09


Box office[edit]

The film was the sixth highest grossing Turkish film of 2009 and has made a total worldwide gross of $3,388,636.[4]

Public controversy[edit]

Television talk shows and newspapers have covered both the film and the discussion of the events on which it is based. Its makers say the public debate is a result of an easing of curbs on freedom of expression accompanying Turkey's drive to meet European Union membership standards. This film couldn't have been made 10 years ago, screen writer Etyen Mahçupyan told Today's Zaman, Though the laws on the books still limit free speech, the reality is there's less and less that can't be criticized.[5]

September 6–7 was our Kristallnacht, Rev. Dositheos Anagnostopulous, a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul said, The chances of something like this happening again are slim, because Turkish youth today are more critical in their thinking. But to be sure, they need to learn that this catastrophe occurred, that's why the film is important.[5]

A film like this might be just a film in another country, Mahçupyan continued, because there's been a vacuum and this issue was never discussed, the film now fulfils an important mission.

Yet, according to the Greek perspective, the film does not depict the events of September 1955 in their actual historic depth, not to mention the portrayal of the main Greek character as a prostitute sold off by her family, totally contrasting the Greek-envisioned social reality of the Greek community of the city, according to contemporary Greeks of Greece, which quite reflects the Turkish views over their non-Muslim neighbours, particularly the women. The film remains still highly controversial for being an attempt to white-wash the "responsibilities" of the Turkish people pretending it was all down to a political manipulation when this is a pogrom in which tens of thousands of Turkish citizens took part and which forced the majority of the Greek community to leave Istanbul.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Box office / business for Güz sancisi". IMDB. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Trivia for Güz sancisi". IMDB. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. ^ "Filming locations for Güz sancisi". IMDB. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Güz sancisi". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b "'Güz Sancısı' casts light on dark chapter of Turkish past". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 2010-02-24.