In anxious service at the poolside

LABOUR: A new world of colourful bikinis and intense demands opens up to two shy young men working at an all-inclusive hotel on the Turkish Riviera.

Two young men, Hakan and Ismail, are not quite sure what to expect when they begin work for a summer season at Nashira Resort, a massive all-inclusive hotel on the Turkish Riviera. Their experiences in this line of work and the changes it brings to their different world views as they are hurled up against the forces of capitalism, global power hierarchies, and the rude entitlement and exploitation that form the dark side of tourism are charted in Belgian director Volkan Üce’s documentary All-In, which had its world premiere at the CPH:DOX and which screens this month at Fipadoc in Biarritz on the French coast.

All-In, a film by Volkan Üce
All-In, a film by Volkan Üce

The sense of fantasy

Eighteen-year-old Ismail is employed as a kitchen porter, having dropped out of school to earn money for his family. Hakan, who is twenty-five, works as a lifeguard at the hotel’s aquapark and hopes his position will help him overcome the social anxiety he has been struggling with. The film takes us into their living quarters, where late-night conversations solidify friendships between the employees and provide a much-needed space to vent about the pressures and indignities they are subjected to at the hotel. The «rules of the hotel business» as they learn them mean, after all, never answering back if guests complain and ensuring that an illusion of ease and happiness is maintained . . .

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Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
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