Çıldırlı Aşık Şenlik

Asik Senlik

Directed by REİS ÇELİK
2020 / 80 min. / Doc. / with English subtitles

Aşık Şenlik (1850-1913), a folk poet and singer, is one of the most prominent representatives of the Anatolian “aşık” tradition of his time. He was born in Çıldır, Ardahan. During his time Sarıkamış, Kars, Ardahan and Batum were given to Russia as war reparations by the Ottoman Empire and Muslim communities of the region were in the struggle of establishing an independent republic. Aşık Şenlik were one of the leaders of this movement. People in Azerbaijan, Iran, Armenia and Goergia were familiar with  Aşık Şenlik’s poems and it was a high status to meet with him in a poetry slam. Many folk poets from surrounding countries, as well as from Anatolia, came to Çıldır to meet him. The documentary tries to shed a light on the influences of the aşık tradition on literature and poetry, and also on the influences of a folk poet on a community which is struggling for independence. Aşık Şenlik died at the age of 63, poisoned by his rivals. The story of his dramatic death is told by contemporary aşıks at his grave site. Experts and historians tell us more about the period in short interviews.


Reis CelikReis Çelik was born in Ardahan, in eastern Anatolia, in 1961. He moved to Istanbul after junior high school and studied music and theatre at the State Conservatoire. In 1982 he began a career in journalism, working as an economics/political correspondent for various national newspapers. In the following years, both his interviews and photographs appeared in several international newspapers and magazines. Around the same time, he began making documentary films, commercial and political campaign films, as well as maintaining an active interest in still photography. To date Çelik's photographic work has been featured in exhibitions in over 12 countries.

He has written, directed and produced documentaries of different lengths, varying between 30 and 60 minutes (these include “The Story of Lydia” co-financed by the BBC in 1989 and more recently, “Land of Firsts”). In 1996 he directed his debut feature, ‘Işıklar Sönmesin’ (“Let There Be Light”), a humanitarian take on the Kurdish conflict in southeast Turkey, whic h won several awards on the international festival circuit. He followed this with another feature ‘Hoşçakal Yarın’ (‘Goodbye Tomorrow’) in 1998, which focuses on a key figure of the Turkish students’ movement who was executed in the early 1970s. He made his third film, ‘İnat Hikayeleri’ (‘Tales of Intransigence’), all improvised feature, in 2004. Following ‘Mülteci’ (“Refugee”) in 2008, ‘Lal Gece’ (“Night Of Silence”) 2012 is Reis Celik’s fifth feature film. He is known to Eurimages as author/director and producer of the film “Goodbye Tomorrow” (1998) as well as for his first creative-documentary full-length cinema film (80 minutes) “Inat hikayeleri” (2004, “Tales of Intransigence”). His latest film is Food For A Funeral (2019).

Throughout his career, Reis Çelik has received many prestigious awards including Crystal Bear in Berlin International Film Festival, Best Script Award in Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Tokyo International Film Festival, and many others. Reis Çelik is the president of the Film Directors Association.


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