Review: My Father’s Violin, family and music

Gülizar Nisa Uray, Engin Altan Düzyatan, and Belçim Bilgin in My Father's Violin

The Turkish film My Father’s Violin (Babamin Kemani) is predictable but heartwarming and enjoyable. When a young girl’s father dies, she must get to know her uncle and find a new family. The film is on Netflix.

Gülizar Nisa Uray in My Father's Violin

My Father’s Violin (Babamin Kemani) features the charming Özlem (Gülizar Nisa Uray) who makes a living busking in the streets for tips with her father and his troupe of musicians. When her father dies, the social services people take her away and contact her uncle.

The uncle, Mehmet (Engin Altan Düzyatan), is a famous violinist. He’s self-centered and lives for his music and performances. His wife Suna (Belçim Bilgin) warms to Özlem before he does. He wants nothing to do with his niece. Partly because he’s too self-important, but also because he felt his brother had abandoned him as a child. That isn’t true, but we don’t learn the exact story until well into the film.

Özlem is a bit of a wild child, uneducated, free, and feisty. She plays the violin quite well. Özlem and her uncle clash and their coming together proceeds with uneven steps. You know, of course, watching a story like this, the family will eventually find love and happiness. But the details of them getting there are unique and involve music and Turkish life.

My Father’s Violin (Babamin Kemani) was directed by a woman, Andaç Haznedaroglu. She had a way of blending practice at home, rehearsal in a empty hall, and concert performances in a seamless montage I thought was well done and added depth.

It was a beautiful story of family and love and music that I found entirely heartwarming and affirming. If you need a reason to feel good and smile, you’ll like this film.

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