The Turkish Bath: Hamam

The Turkish Bath: Hamam From all appearances, Francesco is a confident and independent young man, happy with his work and not particularly mindful of the thoughts or wishes of others. For several years, he's been married to Marta, outgoing and energetic. The two run an applied arts workshop in Rome together with their old acquaintance Paolo.

Impatient however with her husband, by whom she feels underrated and neglected, Marta begins an affair with Paolo.

Francesco meanwhile receives a letter from the Turkish Embassey in Rome informing him that he has inherited property, apparently of a certain value, left to him by his Aunt Anita. Pleased with his unexpected period of libery, Marta urges her husband to go there and directly negotiate the sale of the property.

Once in Instanbul, Francesco discovers that he's been left a hamam, i.e. a Turkish bath house, which his aunt had run for thirty years. He gets to know the custodian Osman and his family: the man's earthy and exuberant wife Perran and their two gorgeous children, the girl Fusan and the boy Mehmet. Francesco further discovers a packet of letters which his aunt had written to his mother but never mailed. Through them, and with the help of Oscar, a charming older man who was close to Anita, he learns that his aunt was in fact a fascinating adventuress of unquenchable curiosity who had travelled widely.

Francesco decides to remain in Turkey and restore the hamam, earning the hatred of the shady speculators who had their eye on his property. Marta is pleased with his decision. For some time the two live their seperate lives, telephoning one another occassionally. Then Francesco falls unaccountably silent. Marta, by now determined to seek legal seperation, decides in her turn to visit Turkey. She finds her husband extraordinarily changed: serene, patient and understanding with others, newly fascinating. She finds herself moved by the transformation and begins to suspect that he must be hiding a relationship with Fusan, Osman's daughter.

One night, she discovers her husband in the hamam making love with Mehmet. Deeply disturbed, she confronts him the following evening. They argue fiercely, telling one another everything they've failed to say in ten years of marriage. Marta decides to leave, but as she's about to depart sosmething wholly unexpected occurs. As it turns out, neither of them will ever return to Italy.

13 No persons under 13
97 minutes

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CastAlessandro Gassman, Francesca D'Aloja, Carlo Cecchi, Halil Ergün
DirectorFerzan Ozpetek
Formats VHS
SA DistributorSter-Kinekor Home Video

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