The history of a Kurdish family from 1979-2009, utilising a mix of documentary and fiction. Exquisite images and personal sound recordings (tapes sent to the father abroad) embellish this film about the repression of the Kurds, immigrant labour and language.
The Kurdish Memet ('played' by co-director Zeynel Dogan) lives with his pregnant wife in Diyarbakir, a town in eastern Turkey. Mehmet’s mother Basé (Asiye Dogan, who is also really Zeynel’s mother) lives alone in the parental home in Elbistan, an almost deserted village. Mehmet’s elder brother Hasan has fled the country after he had joined the guerrilla movement. Since then, he has not been in touch.
Their father Mustafa left for Saudi Arabia to earn money for his family. He had a fatal accident at work, and all that Mehmet has of his is one of the audio cassettes sent back and forth instead of letters (his parents couldn’t read or write). Now he is going to be a father himself, Mehmet asks his mother about the other cassettes. She stalls, not wanting to change the picture that Mehmet has of his father.
Voice of My Father is a poetic meditation about identity and blood bonds, as well as a profound portrait of a country in transition, wrestling with its past. Just as in the previous film by Orhan Eskiköy, On the Way to School, language is crucially important. And like that film, Voice of My Father balances between fiction and documentary.