Introduced by both filmmakers, who lead a post-film Q&A
Twenty-five-year-old Sibel (Damla Sönmez, Across the Sea) lives in a remote mountain village overlooking the Black Sea with her sister and father, the mayor. Sibel is mute, but she communicates by using an ancestral whistled language that transforms the syllables of Turkish into varied-pitch frequencies and melodic lines. Rejected by her fellow neighbors for her refusal to speak and her fierce independence, Sibel hunts the neighboring forest daily for a mythical wolf said to be frightening the villagers. In the process, she crosses paths with an injured fugitive who alters Sibel’s view of herself and the future. Sibel won awards for best film, actress, and supporting actor at 2018’s Adana Film Festival.
“For hundreds of years, this whistled form of communication has been critical for the farming community in the region, allowing complex conversations over long distances and facilitating animal herding. The increasing use of mobile phones is a key threat to its survival.” —New York Times
About the Speakers
Turkish-French couple Guillaume Giovanetti and Çağla Zencirci have been codirecting films since 2004. After several shorts and two features—Noor (Pakistan, 2012) and Ningen (Japan, 2013)—Sibel premiered in the international competition of the 2018 Locarno Film Festival, where it received three awards. Sibel was invited to some 100 festivals the following year and awarded 35 times. The film was released in early 2019 in countries including France, Germany, and Switzerland, and it is in the final selection of the Golden Globe and the European Film awards.