Pandora's Box

by Yesim Ustaoglu

Pandora's Box


Two sisters and a brother live in the centre of Istanbul today. They are in their thirties and forties, and lead very different lives, self-centered on their upper-middle class preoccupations. One day, a phone call brings them together on a voyage through Turkey's suburbs and villages, to the small town in the Black Sea mountains where they were born. Their aged mother, Nusret, had disappeared. As the siblings start reminiscing about her, the tensions between them quickly become apparent; like a Pandora's box which is spilled open, all the unresolved disputes are scattered around. Old wounds are opened up again. When they find their mother and bring her to Istanbul they soon must learn that she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The confrontation with Nusret's sordidness brings them to realize how poor their own lives are. It is only Nesrin's rebellious son Murat who empathises with Nusret and who ultimately sneaks her out of the institution where her daughters have committed her, leading his grandmother back to her home in the mountains which she is desparate to return to ...


After making several award-winning shorts in Turkey, Yesim Ustaoglu made her feature film debut with 1994's »The Trace« (Iz). The film was presented at numerous international festivals, including Moscow and Gotenburg. Yes¸im Ustaoglu received international recognition for her 1999 film, »Journey to the Sun«. In competition at the Berlin Film Festival, »Journey to the Sun« received the Blue Angel Award (Best European Film) and the Peace Prize. The moving story of a courageous friendship undaunted by political cruelty, »Journey to the sun« swept the Istanbul Festival by winning Best Film, Best Director, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Audience Award.
»Waiting for the clouds« was awarded NHK Sundance-International Filmmaker's award, 2003 and the DAAD scholarship (The foundation of the German Academic Exchange Service), Artists in Berlin program, to write her new script »Waiting for the clouds«, the story of a woman forced to live for 50 years with the haunting secrets of a hidden identity.

2008 »Pandora's Box«
2004 »Waiting for the clouds«
1999 »Journey to the Sun«
1994 »The Trace«


Tsilla Chelton - Nusret
Derya Alabora - Nesrin
Onur Ünsal - Murat
Övül Avkiran - Güzin
Osman Sonant - Mehmet


Director: Yesim Ustaoglu
Screenplay / Writer: Yesim Ustaoglu / Sema Kaygusuz
Producers: Yesim Ustaoglu / Muhammet Cakiral / Serkan Cakarer / Behrooz Hashemian / Setareh Farsi / Natacha Devillers / Catherine Burniaux / Michael Weber / Tobias Pausinger
Cinematographer: Jacques Besse
Editor: Frank Nakache
Sound Recordist: Bernd von Basewitz
Sound Designer: Philippe Bluard
Production Design: H.F. Farsi / Elif Tascioglu / Serdar Yilmaz
Original Music: Jean-Pierre Mas
A production of Ustaoglu Film Yapim / Silkroad Production / Les Petites Lumières / Stromboli Pictures / The Match Factory

Technical Data

Format: 35 mm / 1:1,85 / Colour / Dolby Digital 5.1
Length: 112 Min
Original language: Turkish

Original language: Pandoranin Kutusu


Click here for the »Pandora's Box« artwork


Pandora's Box
Pandora's Box

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