The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Turkish director Yilmaz Erdogan's latest film memorably traces two poets struggling for personal and political liberation
A light flickers like a firefly in the dark only slowly to reveal an eye and head of a pit pony, the camera panning around to illuminate a horrific sight before showing, in bright light, the reason why.
Such is the cinematic style of Turkish filmmaker Yilmaz Erdogan's magnificent film, based upon the true life story of poets Rustu Onur and Muzaffer Tayyip (Mert Firat, Kivanc Tattitug) who were inspired by personal and political liberation during the second world war.
It is set in 1941 in the Black Sea city of Zonguldak, where all able bodied men, women and children were forced to work as slaves in the local mine and it took some ingenuity to avoid that fate.
Thus Rustu and Muzaffer work at whatever they can while writing poems inspired by life so, when they both fall in love with Susan (Belcim Belgian), they decide to write an anonymous poem to her so she can choose between them.
But their problems are twofold - their lack of writing implements and the fact that Susan, the mine owner's wilful daughter, is increasingly curious to discover the source of her bourgeois comforts.
The pair's only ally is a former teacher and the story is further complicated when Onur is transferred to a sanatorium where he meets and falls in love with another beautiful muse Mediha (Farah Zeynep Abdullah).
It's superbly played and beautifully constructed. The poets are often forced to write on the wall, illustrating the dialectic between "misery is the excuse for poems" and "poems are the excuse for life."
A heartbreaking tragedy that radiates love, compassion and hope.