Turkey’s foreign-language film Oscar submission, “I Saw the Sun,” is an unsubtle meller centered on two families of Kurdish refugees. Pic’s nondescript lensing, leaning toward wannabe Hollywood stylings, hardly warrants kudos; ditto the scripting, with its anti-feminist stance and wafer-thin play for tolerance. “Sun” took a rosy $12 million-plus on home turf but is strictly for local play.
A Kurdish village on the Iranian border is evacuated by the military in order to root out separatist terrorists. Ramo (helmer Mahsun Kirmizigul) and his family go to Istanbul, while Davut (Altan Erkekli) and his kin are smuggled to Norway. Neither clan adjusts well to its new location, though at least in Norway there are positive developments. In Istanbul, Ramo’s family falls apart: Dutiful wife Havar (Demet Evgar) is hospitalized after too many pregnancies, while effeminate brother Kadri (Cemal Toktas) rebels by falling in with transsexual Cansu (Cem Aksakal). Tragedy brings forth sweeping emotions, but everything feels forced.