For Film’s Sake Festival Review: Dust Cloth (Turkey, 2016) is a subtle and well-intentioned character study

Dust Cloth (Toz Bezi) is the sort of film you’d get if you crossed Phil Collins’ “Another Day in Paradise” with Radiohead’s “No Surprises.” It’s the subtle, everyday story that shows the poverty that two working class women in Istanbul endure. While it is a well-observed and well-intentioned tale, this is also a character study that is a bit too meandering and slow for its own benefit.

The film stars Asiye Dinçsoy as Nesrin, a Kurdish woman who is struggling to make ends meet as a single mum. Nesrin finds herself alone and abandoned after her husband leaves without a word or warning. She works as a cleaning lady and brings her sweet and playful daughter along while she diligently completes each job.

Nesrin’s friend and neighbour, Hatun (Nazan Kesal) also works a cleaner but she’s less conscientious in her approach to work. She has a husband and a son but the former is a lazy layabout. Hatun dreams of buying a house in the ritzy neighbourhood where she works. But instead she finds herself being put down by the middle class women clientele she works for.

Dust Cloth is a simple, little film and a quiet meditation on motherhood and dreams. It is a realistic tale that shows some genuine slices of social realism in all of its grim and dark reality. The story is a slow and subtle one that has no alarms and no surprises and very little else going on bar the daily toil of two Kurdish women living in poverty in a racist city. It just is what it is.

Review Score: TWO AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Dust Cloth premieres at the For Film’s Sake Festival in Sydney on Saturday, April 29th. For tickets and more details head here.

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