Study Guide for “Egg / Yumurta” (Semih Kaplanoglu, 2007)
- Examine how Yusuf is depicted first in his secondhand bookstore in Istanbul and later in his hometown in the early moments of the film and discuss how these depictions help you understand Yusuf and the issues dealt with in the film.
- How do the depictions of the big city and the countryside in the early moments of the film contribute to your understanding of the film?
- Make a comparison between the girl in Yusuf’s bookstore in Istanbul and Ayla in Tire and discuss what each stands for in the film.
- What does the tunnel Yusuf drives through signify in the film? What does it foreshadow?
- What is the function of the little boy in the film?
- What is the significance of the toothbrush Yusuf finds in the bathroom? How does he react when he finds it there? Why?
- What is the importance of the barbershop sequence of the film?
- What is the importance of Yusuf’s encounter with the dog? Why does he cry sitting opposite the dog?
- What is the symbolic value of Yusuf’s inability to locate the egg in the garden?
- What is the significance of the title? What does “egg” symbolize in the film?
- What does the well symbolize in the film?
- What is the symbolic value of the butcher’s anointing Yusuf’s forehead with blood?
- Why is there no music in the film?
- To what extent and in what way(s) would you consider the film a critique of contemporary Turkey?
- In what ways would you call the film minimalist?
- What is your opinion of the director’s representation of the countryside? What message(s) do you think he gives to the audience through its representation?
- Discuss how the director prefers to show the bond between Yusuf and Ayla.
- Discuss the significance of the following concepts in relation to the film: “belonging”, “home”, “roots”, “alienation”, “journey”, “time” and “modernity vs. traditions”.
© Ali Nihat Eken, Istanbul, October 2008