Winter Of Love

Gülsah Dogan

The Netherlands, 2010, 90 min.,

Gülşah Doğan

For filmmaker Gülşah Doğan her uncle Cemal and aunt Emine are the very picture of ideal love. Cemal visits his wife, who lives in a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s, every day. Doğan wonders how their love came into being and how it manages to survive. A tour of family members provides a multitude of answers and love stories. This is cut with Cemal and Emine’s own story: their marriage in Derebaşi, their time in Adana and their lives in Enschede, the Netherlands. Gradually, Cemal and Emine’s love is put in perspective.

In her debut film, Gülşah Doğan asks how love is experienced in her family. It is a remarkably simple, straightforward and universal question. Despite the specific situation of this – or any – family, anyone should be able to connect to the question.

Doğan, of Turkish descent, starts from a very personal perspective: the lack of a love story of her own. Being single at 34, family members wonder why she never married. She then investigates love in her family, taking Uncle Cemal and Aunt Emine as a starting point. Their love must be the real thing, when you see how Cemal takes care of Emine, combing her hair, massaging her temples and legs. So she asks her nephew, other aunts, uncles, and her grandmother, all of whom she introduces in terms of their relationships to Cemal and Emine, to tell her about love, about their love and their love song. Her own parents are absent from the film. Given that they divorced 20 years ago, it is likely she doesn’t expect to find any answers there.

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