Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

The Market

Chopstick Cinema

Chopstick Cinema

It’s a dog-eat-dog world on the Turkish black market, where Mihram hustles 24/7 to feed his pregnant wife and young daughter. He prides himself on being able to find anything for anyone, yet somehow manages to maintain a certain measure of honor, despite the constant lure of Mustafah, the puppet master of a contraband cartel. Mihram dreams of slipping the bonds of the black market to open his own mobile network franchise, but he needs 50 million lira (about $50 US) for the license. And although this may seem like a modest sum to anyone in a modern, industrialized nation, to a small-time black market merchant in Turkey, it’s a nearly impossible dream.

But when Mihram’s family physician pays him a visit to ask a favor of him to help her replace a shipment of stolen vaccine, Mihram hatches a plan to go on a less-than-honest mission to turn her 70 million lira into enough money to replace the stolen vaccine, with enough left over to launch his mobile network franchise.

Although the story is rather playfully told, good and evil are intricately bound, and kismet and karma play against each other as Mihram’s scheme unfolds. He did the wrong thing for all the right reasons, and in the end can only say, “Let’s not ask where the moon gets its light.”

Join me this week on Chopstick Cinema for a closer look at the Asian entries in the 2009 Cinequest Film Festival, which opens on Wednesday, February 25 and runs through Sunday, March 8. For further information on the film and the festival, visit the Cinequest website.

For questions or comments send e-mail to cheiter at thingsasian dot com