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11-year-old Aslan lives in an archaic world dominated by men in an Anatolian village, in which the strongest dictates the hierarchy. When he comes across Sivas, a wounded fighting dog, in a ditch, he takes care of it and nurses it back to life. Sivas regains his strength and goes on to win fight after fight. The dog’s rise also enables Arslan to assert himself in the village community.

The film paints a raw portrait of a world in which children have to grow up very quickly and only the strongest survive.

"What I had in mind while directing Sivas, was to avoid this well-trodden path. "Sivas" is about the continuously evolving life and character of a small boy and a small village. I purposefully kept the stakes low: there is no epic love, or an epic struggle, or the usual concerns we see in films that concerns the Anatolian rural life. But it is definitely one hell of a ride rather than an act of capturing. "Sivas" itself does not capture, but willingly lets go: of its main characters played by amateur actors, its unprocessed setting, meanwhile firmly holding onto its plot,” said director Kaan Müjdeci.

"Sivas" was shown in competition at this year's Venice festival.

Turkey / Germany 2014