Forsaken Paths
36 mins.


An intimate story about the semi-nomadic Çepni tribe in the Black Sea Region of Turkey. Every June, the Cepni lead their cows on a two-day hike up to their high pastures called "yayla." Today, only a few families still follow the old paths to the mountains where they historically spend the summer months.

The story is told thorough the words of three Çepni women ages 20, 28 and 77. The film follows young Fatma and Sonnur in Istanbull, and the old womanin the village. Two young sisters have had to move to Istanbul to find jobs. They miss their hometown and the life they left behind. On the other hand, the old lady back in the village is witnessing changes in recent years and feels sad to see old customs and colors vanish as the village population decreases.

The two-day walk starts from the village and covers 20 kilometers up the and down the hills and valleys to reach the mountain pasture located at 2,300 meters. Cows are dressed with colorful talismanic tassels accompanying the chime of cowbells, and the girls put on their most elegant traditional costumes.

Forsaken Paths ends at the remote Kadirga festival where thousands of people from various ethnic backgrounds meet on a mountaintop to feast and dance all day to the manic tunes of the kemençe, drum and the pipe.

"Forsaken Paths"
"The Last Shore"

Imperial Ottoman
Caves and Castles
Turquoise Blue Waters
Gods Saints and Dervishes
Black Sea; Forsaken Paths
Emerald Hills and the East
Ararat and Nemrud
Magic Light


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