White as Snow Review / Greg Hayes / thefilmpilgrim.com
An adaptation of ‘Ayran’, a short story by Sabahattin Ali, White as Snow is a fable-esque tale of constant struggle and survival. Twelve-year old Hasan (Hakan Korkmaz) is thrown into adulthood when his father is imprisoned his and mother (Sinem Islamoglu) is forces to travel to a distant village to work. With the job of looking after his two younger brothers, White as Snow follows what Hasan goes through to supplement his mothers income.
With the black sea mountains of Artvin as the backdrop of this heartwarming story, cinematographer Serdar Ozdemir creates stunning visions with exterior shots, creating a film with poetic intention through visual expression. The interior shots have a very Vermeer style and subsequently gives the film an art-house aesthetic that expresses their attention to detail in every given outlet of cinema. With stunning sound engineered by a multitude of contributors there’s no shock as to why it picked up the Best Music award at the Antalya Golden Orange International Film Awards last year (2010). The film does not bombard your senses as we are left to enjoy the film at a dribbling pace due to Ahmet Can Cakirca’s minimalist editing style.
Hakan Korkmaz gives an enchanting performance as little Hasan but is overshadowed by the delectable Sinem Islamoglu who also picked up the Best Supporting actress award at the Ankara International film festival this year. She portrays a strong and powerful minded women yet doesn’t lose the delicateness of her situation; the most impressive scene falls near the beginning of the end sequence where the pace of film becomes a little quicker.
White as Snow is a poetic, tragic and pure cinema experience that leads you through the struggle of a young boy. Through Selim Gunes’ understanding of cinema and the power of moving image, it makes you struggle along with it. But don’t be put up off by the term struggle, it effortlessly depicts the events as they unfold in front of you; the struggle is that you want to help little Hasan and his family through this hard time.