Yol - The Full VersionYol - The Full Version

by Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören

Yol - The Full Version


Palme d'or-winning unfinished "YOL" is 35 years later still Turkey's most important film and with its topics more contemporary than ever. Finally, it has been restored and completed for the occasion of Yılmaz Güney's 80th birthday this year.

"YOL - The Full Version" honors what the great actor, author, director, producer and prisoner wasn't free to complete during his lifetime. It presents on the screen the entire content of the script that Yılmaz Güney wrote in prison. Thanks to intense research, film material that was thought lost was found, digitised and edited according to Yılmaz Güney's original editing plan. Image and sound have been accurately restored to their authentic condition. "YOL - The Full Version" recounts, as in Yılmaz Güney's original script, six, rather than five stories about Turkish and Kurdish prisoners. Each of them attempts to get his life back on track during a week's leave from prison. For 35 years, the fate of these men and their wives have moved audiences around the world. "YOL - The Full Version" is a piece of Turkish-Kurdish film history that is more contemporary than ever. The work is a timeless portrait of an archaic society whose concepts of honor and moral compass are the downfall of men and women alike.


"YOL" (1982) and "YOL - The Full Version" (2017) is a film by Yılmaz Güney which Şerif Gören, his long-term assistant, was in charge of shooting. During this process, Yılmaz Güney - like the protagonists of his film - was imprisoned on the island of Imralı and then in Isparta: he could not direct the film himself. He had been condemned to lifelong imprisonment on a politically-motivated charge of murder. Yılmaz Güney convinced the only recently released Şerif Gören to take over directing in his stead.

Thanks to the planning, and with the dedicated assistance of people from Turkey, France, Germany and Switzerland, Yılmaz Güney managed to flee his military-run homeland. In France he was granted political asylum. In Zürich and Divonne, the empathetic Elizabeth Waelchli edited with Yılmaz Güney the material filmed by Şerif Gören. "YOL" is living proof that it is not a director who makes a film, but rather a team. It is a collective work whose spirit reaches from the stormy 1980s right up to the current day with its origin in Yılmaz Güney's life and the script he created. The film could only be made with the help of Güney's friends and companions. It was directed by Şerif Gören and a dedicated team, and produced by Cactus Film, which had its origin in the Filmkollektiv Zürich. It was with the latter's collective spirit, and strictly according to the specifications of Yılmaz Güney, that the hastily assembled work could be entirely restored, supplemented and completed. For it to participate in the Cannes competition in 1982, twenty-seven minutes had to be edited out almost overnight. Thirty- five years after "YOL" won the Palme d'Or, and in the year that Yılmaz Güney would have turned eighty, "YOL - The Full Version" at last, will be screening at the Cannes Film Festival.



Tarik Akan - Seyit Ali
Halil Ergün - Mehmet Salih
Necmettin Çobanoğlu - Ömer
Hikmet Çelik - Mevlüt
Güven Şengil - Süleyman
Tuncay Akça - Yusuf
Şerif Sezer - Zine


a film by Yılmaz Güney
director Şerif Gören
producer of the full version Donat F. Keusch
screenplay Yılmaz Güney
director of photography Erdoğan Engin
editors Yılmaz Güney, Elizabeth Waelchli (1982), Peter R. Adam, Tobias Frühmorgen (2017)

Technical Data

format DCP / colour / 1.85:1 / 5.1
length 112 min.
original languages Turkish, Kurdish

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