Telling the story of Ayhan a young Turkish man who lives in Berlin, is a boxer, and believes himself to be inadequately nourished and shot with the transport sponsorship of AnadoluJet, “Berlin Kaplanı” (The Tiger of Berlin) has been in theaters since January 27.
“Just be patient,” they would say, “just be patient.” One day he had a major awakening and simply handed the controls to the child inside him. In Ata Demirer’s words, “It was a hard time. My plan B—meaning my escape—was the island of Bozcaada in the northern Aegean. I actually was there, but there was a sense of lateness, of laziness. I am a lazy man anyway! I was waiting for a script to arrive so I could perform it. But nothing came. With the prodding, scolding, and even swearing of my loved ones, I decided to start writing in November 2008. If the script doesn’t come to me, then I will go to it—why not! I didn’t have to go so far away anyway. Hüseyin Badem is a persona I’ve portrayed for years to make my friends and family laugh; he is a part of me. It’s someone I know, a landscape I know, and a story I know...”
His drafting ended in April 2009. He tried five more versions later, but as always, the first was received best—that’s just how things work! And so they assembled a crew, shot the film, chopped up all sorts of scenes into bits while editing, and with their hearts beating restlessly they attended the premiere. Finally, after such a long wait, they had achieved their objective: the film “Eyvah Eyvah” (Alack!). Then came a sequel and a rainy yet happy ending. Let’s keep this short: we really liked Hüseyin Badem. In fact, we watched him the most out of all in 2011—more than 3,947,988 of us in all.
So, just as we were saying, “Now that ‘Eyvah Eyvah 2’ is done, what will Ata Demirer do next?’ we were greeted with news of a third movie. After all, cinema turns dreams into reality and reality into dreams! And Demirer, too, said, “In cinema, people should pursue their dreams. They should do this for themselves. After now, I won’t be at ease unless I make a film every year…”
Again, let’s keep it short. The third film was planned, written, shot, and is now in theaters. It is called “Berlin Kaplanı.” Before us is a young Turkish man who lives in Berlin. He boxes and believes he does not receive adequate nourishment. Ayhan is his first name, and Kaplan—tiger in Turkish—is his last. Demirer warns, “The film is neither about immigrants, nor is it about boxers. A true family comedy is what it really is.”
The Real Matter
The young Turkish expatriate Ayhan who makes his living through boxing and as a bodyguard, his coach Cemal, the female romantic interest, the uncle from the Black Sea area, and the grandfather are portrayed respectively by Ata Demirer, Tarık Ünlüoğlu, Nihal Yalçın, Necati Bilgiç, and Cemil Özbayer. Fatih, the little nephew, is portrayed by Mert Alan, who joined the cast coincidentally....
In the director’s seat is a name we recognize from the previous installments of “Eyvah Eyvah” Hakan Algül. We mustn’t forget Ayhan Özçelik from whom Demirer received inspiration when writing the script either; he appears as a boxer. Özçelik has been a bodyguard for Ata Demirer on his German tours. In fact, he is a professional instructor in charge of a boxing school in Germany. But why might Demirer come up with the idea of portraying a boxer? That’s the real long story. It started when “Eyvah Eyvah 2” ended: what Ata Demirer really wanted to do was to make a film drawing from Bursa province. A small family, a grandfather, a grandchild a bit from his childhood, and a bit from his late grandfather. His memories lay in wait in a corner. But is Bursa like that anymore? No, it has changed completely! Oh well. Demirer finally found another place for the movie but he’s keeping that as a surprise.
The real matter is how that atomic family was formed… Demirer brooded intensely. Then he came up with the idea that this family would have a child coming over from Germany—a fun, entertaining kind of guy… As he wrote on and on, he grew jealous of the character and finally performed it himself. There was, however, the question of what work this fellow would be doing—a musician, or a döner kebab seller, a housepainter, or something else? One evening, Demirer came across a kickboxing match on TV. That was when he had his eureka moment—he pictured himself in the boxing ring, thought it acceptable, and decided that the character would be a boxer.
Demirer immediately lunged for his phone. He called Ayhan, who was his bodyguard on his 2007–2008 tour of Germany. “I’m going to portray a boxer. If I come over, can you teach me the things I’ll need?” he said. “By all means!” replied Ayhan. And then Demirer went straight to Berlin—for a month he learned everything to do with boxing, as well as enough German to get by and plenty of expat jokes… When planning for the film finished, he went straight to shooting. Now is the time to see the fruits of his effort. And by the way, the film’s real matter is hidden in this clichéd line: “We need fifty thousand euros. You have one week to pay up.”
Ata Demirer was born July 6, 1972 in Bursa. He has a passion for nature, the sea, and animals. In 1991, he entered the Istanbul University State Conservatory, where after practicing comedy and acting in the Dormen Theater, he met Uğur Yücel.
Ata Demirer launched his foray into cinema with such productions as “Vizontele Tuuba” and “Neredesin Firuze.” He starred in “Kısık Ateşte On Beş Dakika.” After the two “Eyyvah Eyvah” films, Demirer now appears before viewers with “Berlin Kaplanı.” His next goal is to make a film every year.
Shooting on “Berlin Kaplanı” in Germany lasted two weeks. The film’s credits track is by German rap star Kila Hakan; it is somewhat in an arabesque-rap style. The film’s main score is by Fahir Atakoğlu.