A review on Suffocating with Manners from Valentina Kiaya
June 21 2021
Valentina Kiaya's film review of Suffocating with Manners:
In a divided and troubled country like Turkey, which struggles between conservatism and progress, art grapples to find ways to highlight the inequalities and injustices that prevail. This is also the aim of Sertaç Koyuncu's short film "Suffocating with Manners", as it tells the story of an old and rusty elevator and its passengers. More specifically, an elevator of a skyscraper, which is not at all reliable as it is not only old but also neglected. As the passengers heading to different floors enter the elevator, the long narrow box goes up the floors floundering. A mosaic of people is being formed of individuals who have nothing in common but two things: they are in the same elevator and they want to get to their destination as soon as possible. The route becomes long and suffocating until at some point it begins to become worrying for its passengers.
A seemingly simple story that carries with it messages and concerns. For a society that pushes people's values and rights into a corner for the sake of other interests. So much so that she can no longer take another breath from the oppressive and inhuman rule exercised on her. And thus, people who may be seemingly different forget that they share the same "path" and are left to quarrel over meaningless differences. For what is primarily at stake in this story is the human values and relationships that struggle with a jump to escape the condemnation of obscurantism. A darkness that can hardly be avoided, especially if it stems from forms of religious zeal, which in turn sets out to reproduce its own values and ideals of how a proper society should function. When this kind of conservatism clashes with the people's need for freedom, the results lead to an insecure and dangerous "path".
"Suffocating with Manners" is a class allegory and especially a cry of indignation from the young artists of the country who are striving to highlight the importance of diversity and solidarity.
We may all be in the same elevator after all, but if we work together properly we can get out of its suffocating space.