The original Turkish title, Büyük adam küçük ask, translates as 'Big Man, Little Love'; hejar in Kurdish simply means 'crushed'. Which would seem to be the fate in store for the young protagonist bearing that name when, newly orphaned, she witnesses the massacre of her guardians in a police raid on their Istanbul apartment. In mute shock, she shuffles across the hallway and Rifat, a cantankerous retired judge, offers reluctant shelter. Disturbed as much by her breach of his solitude as by her stubborn insistence on speaking in her own tongue - Kurdish was until recently proscribed in Turkey - he takes a long time warming to her. Hejar purportedly represents the first use of Kurdish in mainstream Turkish cinema - and if the judge could only grasp the girl's vocabulary, he'd feel doubly compelled to censor her. Less of a breakthrough, at least for audiences familiar with Kolya or Central Station, is the hackneyed set-up, and this intergenerational odd couple take an age dragging their heels to the inevitable conclusion.
Cast and crew
Ismail Hakki Sen