Between Two Dawns review – a powerful workplace drama about safety breaches | Movies

JTurkish director Selman Nacar made a strong impression with his feature debut, a tough drama about neglect at work at the San Sebastian film festival last year. His indirect narrative style and sense of insidious bureaucratic escapism made me think of the Romanian new wave: in particular Erdem Senocak’s performance as Yasin, the bland corporate lawyer whose task is pressure the families of injured employees to waive their legal rights.

Mucahit Kocak plays Kadir, a friendly young man who, together with his more enterprising older brother Halil (Bedir Bedir), has taken over the management of the family textile factory, when their father Ibrahim (Ünal Silver) retires. The work is hard and the factory is struggling to deliver orders, but Kadir is happy enough, enthusiastically making plans with his fiancée Esma (Burcu Gölgedar). But then her world is turned upside down when an employee is badly burned by a poorly maintained steam cleaner and rushed to the hospital. Was the worker at fault for not wearing the correct safety gear and being drunk on the job, as the company instantly and heartlessly insists? Or is it a lie? The man’s wife, Serpil (Nezaket Erden), refuses to sign Yasin’s document and an increasingly horrified Kadir discovers that he himself is being scapegoated for the company in case of lawsuits and that the family and the hospital are complicit in withholding the truth. on the state of the man.

It’s a powerfully made film, although I was a little frustrated that it ended before we found out exactly what price has to be paid and what the outcome of Kadir’s crisis of conscience really is. There’s a terrific scene in which Kadir has an uncomfortable dinner with his future in-laws, and is brought in to play the know (a kind of lute) for them, while inwardly agonizing over her family’s secrets and lies.

Between Two Dawns is available August 15 on Mubi.