The Wall

  • 1983
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Prison

THE WALL is an unceasingly brutal film about life in a Turkish prison. Director Yilmaz Guney, who died in 1984, served three separate jail sentences (one for murder) before finally escaping in 1981. Working from this firsthand experience in France (in an abbey converted to a jail for the production), Guney brings to the screen a film that stands up defiantly...read more

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THE WALL is an unceasingly brutal film about life in a Turkish prison. Director Yilmaz Guney, who died in 1984, served three separate jail sentences (one for murder) before finally escaping in 1981. Working from this firsthand experience in France (in an abbey converted to a jail for the

production), Guney brings to the screen a film that stands up defiantly and violently for the rights of the imprisoned. The prison depicted here is a re-creation of the one in Ankara, Turkey, that was the sight of an inmate rebellion in 1976. It segregates men, women, and children but has no

policy of separating violent offenders from political dissidents. In an indictment of the barbaric Turkish penal system, Guney presents an overcrowded prison with no windows, heat, hot water, or decent food, and with inhumane visiting conditions. The inmates (mostly children in the film) are

treated savagely: one is kicked in the eye, another is forced to swallow a louse found on his body, and yet another is savagely battered on the soles of his feet while his blood-chilling screams are transmitted through the prison's public address system. These children pray to God not to be

released but simply to be sent to another prison. Although the subject has been brought to the screen before and certain elements of THE WALL have become cliches, the power of the film's message is not lessened. THE WALL is perhaps not the most artful or poetic picture (although it does contain

one of the most amazingly photographed birth scenes in cinema); it is nonetheless one of the most necessary.

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  • Released: 1983
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: THE WALL is an unceasingly brutal film about life in a Turkish prison. Director Yilmaz Guney, who died in 1984, served three separate jail sentences (one for murder) before finally escaping in 1981. Working from this firsthand experience in France (in an a… (more)

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