Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul


Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of IstanbulIt's not the expected thing for a documentary on Turkish music to open with a quote from Confucius, but that is not the only fascinating surprise that Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul has to offer. The latest film by Fatih Akin, who directed the exceptional Head-On, turns out to be a Bosporus-based Buena Vista Social Club with cultural commentary thrown into the mix. When Confucius said that to understand a people's culture you have to understand its music, he might have had a film like this in mind.

Crossing the Bridge does more than offer a wide variety of entertaining and intoxicating Turkish music. It also uses music to paint a portrait of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and provide a window into a rich and varied national culture. Born in Hamburg to Turkish parents, Akin has taken Istanbul to his heart like a native. The title of his film refers to the fact that the city, placed at the point where Asia and Europe meet, has always been as open to the East as it is to the West.

It is that inevitable cross-pollination that characterizes the music that Crossing the Bridge presents. "Your ears are open to everything, even when you don't want them to be," is how one local DJ puts it in the film. Based on the sounds the film exposes us to, the city's musicians have achieved a remarkable synthesis, creating music that has both kept it Turkish and kept it real.

Part 1


Part 2

Ratings: 8.43/10 from 7 users.

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6 Comments / User Reviews

  1. EsatE

    I'm a Turkish bassist residing in Istanbul and this documentary really does capture the musical essences of this city. The music scene is getting crazier these days actually :)
    Thank you Vlatko for adding this film to the site arsenal.
    Greetings from Istanbul,
    Esat Ekincioglu

  2. MadMurad

    Very enjoyable documentary and reminds me of my good times in this city.

    too bad the subtitles are so crappy,off-sync with the image and sound. That's why I give 8/10

  3. lucia

    Loving it - the only downside is the closing tune - Madonna?!

  4. Amrit Sangeet

    I don't simply understand why one doesn't expect a Turkish documentary to open with a quote from Confucius...

    Confucius is well know throughout whole world. And Turkey is in the world. Before America was even discovered Turkish people were in contact wiht Chinese culture. Even Turks conveyed Chinese culture to Eorope and beyond...

    You guys have so much biases against eastern cultures. And with the help of nep-cons your brains are very well washed... This is just a way of creating a barier between different cultures. So that power-hungry American ruling elite can go and invade them and American, or western people does not care about it. They think that those people who are invaded by their ruling elite are doing something great. They are protecting them from those primitive people, from islamic terrorists???

    This is bull. Western culture is behaving just like little children. They feel that they are the center of the universe. And soon this will chnage. Actually it is already changing... Economically, culturally, and technologically western culture is losing its strength..

    Turkish culture and whole eastern culture is so rich that western superfical mind cannot grasp it easily.

  5. Marisa Raniolo Wilkins

    I think that this is such a good documentary - I keep on recommending it to others and today while looking up te web to try once more to see where I can buy the soundtracK I found this.

  6. Asdsa

    no english subtitle?

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