Rent Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

3.4 of 5 from 269 ratings
2h 31min
Rent Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (aka Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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This is an epic and rigorous tale of a night and a day in a murder investigation. Police, prosecutors, a doctor and the murderers themselves try to locate a buried body through one long night in the Anatolian steppes. Many long-buried thoughts and fears are also disinterred in the minds of the investigators as they go about their thankless task.
, , , , , , Erol Erarslan, , Murat Kiliç, Safak Karali, Emre Sen, Burhan Yildiz, Nihan Okutucu, Cansu Demirci, , Salih Ünal, Aziz Izzet Biçici, Celal Acaralp, , Ufuk Karaali
Zeynep Özbatur
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da
New Wave Films
Turkey, Drama

2011 Cannes Grand Prize

Release Date:
Run Time:
151 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Behind the Scenes Documentary
  • Interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Disc 1:
This disc includes the main feature
Disc 2:
This disc includes the following special features:
- Behind the scenes
- Interview
Release Date:
Run Time:
157 minutes
  • 90 minute Behind the Scenes documentary
  • Interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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Reviews (7) of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Once upon a time in a dark car - Once Upon a Time in Anatolia review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

No beginning no middle no end no plot everybody here has laryngitis if you just like to look at nice scenery then this film is for you or you could just look out the window for ninety odd minuets.

This film is way too long but you just have to watch it to find out what happens

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

More a comedy drama - Once Upon a Time in Anatolia review by JD

Spoiler Alert

Not really a crime drama. It is an amusing idea, 3 vehicles containing a doctor a prosecutor 2 diggers and a typist (among others) driving around the country at night looking for a body. There are some truly funny moments but generally it is interesting photography a strange plot (often completely unconnected) and endearing quirky characters.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

A Long Night's Journey - Once Upon a Time in Anatolia review by CA

Spoiler Alert

Three cars and their occupants travel across a desert landscape in the dark. The cars stop periodically and the travelers emerge to seek the scene of a murder and burial....

A narrative emerges slowly, in snippets of conversation, glimpses of the barren landscape, snapshots of lives..

There is no beginning, middle or end to this film - and as others have said, it is overlong. But it is nonetheless mesmerising, the spectacular cinematography drawing you in. I, for one, was happy to go along for the ride.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (aka Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da) review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso

A group of cars are in motion, traversing Turkey's extensive Anatolia steppe of rolling hills and mountains, the landscape an idyllic setting – if not for the morbidity of the situation.

In ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’, what seems to be a tailgate party is in fact the aftermath of a crime. In one of those cars are murderers being accompanied by a prosecutor, a doctor, a gendarmerie, police officers, and diggers – in search of the site where a murdered man had been buried. It’s a caravan but not the kind that you would be happy about.

From the talented Turk film maker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, based on a script he also co-wrote with Ercan Kesal and Ebru Ceylan, ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’ puts a voyeuristic spin on what happens after a murder. In a way, the dead victim is already half-way to justice, having the murder suspect Kenan (Firat Tanis) confess the crime. Kenan has just struck a deal with police Commissar Naci (Yilmaz Erdogan) in exchange for the release of his brother Ramazan (Burhan Yildiz), the second suspect to the homicide.

As Kenan directs everyone to somewhat disastrous results because he can’t remember where he has dumped the body, other characters also ruminate on their desperate and futile attempt to do a search especially when they do it in the dead of the night, only their headlights to guide them. This is where ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’ becomes a dream-like series of sequences, thanks largely to its director of photography, Gokhan Tiryaki. The Anatolia steppe is sprawling and magnificent as is but when lit in a very murky way, it becomes an alluring landscape suitable to the story at hand.

There is no plot to speak of in ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’; it seems it’s going for that purgatorial state of quiet introspection with a few chatter from its characters, often not at all leading to clarity for their situation. The film, at a stretch of two-and-a-half hours, is too long for such long period of silences. But then, it’s beautifully shot.

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