Have You Ever Seen Butterflies? is a Turkish film on Netflix
Home » Turkish Film on Netflix: “Have You Ever Seen Fireflies?” from Stage to Cinema
Turkish Drama

Turkish Film on Netflix: “Have You Ever Seen Fireflies?” from Stage to Cinema

It has been a quite productive period for Turkish originals on Netflix in terms of new productions. The Turkish drama “Fatma” was the newest series on Netflix. (Click here to read our detailed article about it.) As for “Have You Ever Seen Fireflies?” (“Sen Hiç Ateş Böceği Gördün mü?”, in Turkish), we are going to talk about it now. The Turkish film on Netflix, which first went on stage as a stage play, now runs as a cinema film and on the top list in Turkey!

Ece Erkek and Yılmaz Erdoğan (the creator and one of the leading roles)
Ece Erkek and Yılmaz Erdoğan (the creator and one of the leading roles)

Background

It was on 23 January 1999 when this immortal stage play first performed at the Beşiktaş Cultural Center in Istanbul. Yılmaz Erdoğan, who is the writer of this immortal piece of art, began writing the play while he was serving at the Air Force Academy.

The original play version had a cast of 17 people. In the year of 1999, it was released with the sponsorship of Telsim, a GSM operator of the time. During its run in Istanbul, the play performed 97 times between 23 January 1999 and 23 May 1999.

Ecem Erkek (acted as Gülseren) is the leading role of the film
Ecem Erkek (acted as Gülseren) is the leading role of the film

Later that same year during June, the play went on stage in Bursa, Denizli, Antalya, Isparta, Adana, Tarsus, Mersin, and Cyprus. Moreover, in most parts of Anatolia, people watched the play. The following year the production went on a temporary hiatus due to the pregnancy of actress Demet Akbağ. Yet, by November, the play had been staged a total of 505 times. In August 2002, Erdoğan, the screenwriter of the play, stated that over 1 million people viewed the play.

The Release Date of the Turkish Film on Netflix

The film, Have You Ever Seen Fireflies, was released on 9 April 2021. From the release date on, the movie has been on the top list of Netflix Turkey. As for the director of the movie, Andac Haznedaroglu is taking on the work.

The film, Have You Ever Seen Fireflies, was released on 9 April 2021
The film, Have You Ever Seen Fireflies, was released on 9 April 2021

What is the Story of the Film?

In the movie, Gülseren (played by Ecem Erkek) is an aging, gray-haired, talkative woman. A young videographer interviews her in her senior home. The reason why he is interested in her is because she has a talent for multiplying four-digit numbers in her head. Gülseren is a rebellious woman who refuses the conditions to limit her. On the contrary, she walks them through the narrative of her entire life from birth in Istanbul, Turkey in 1951. They were the times when political intrigue, uprisings, communist influences, religious right influences, and a military takeover were the main instruments of the time.

In the movie, we are witnessing to the near-term Turkey's history
In the movie, we are witnessing to the near-term Turkey’s history

Expelled from School Because of Her Intellect

The narrative has supports the interview from a book to remember the past. However, she is leaving most of the action in the family’s inherited Istanbul mansion. Her loud and argumentative family come and go with uncles arrested for either communist or religious convictions. Dissidents cover the mansion with political graffiti while Gulseren dodges arranged marriages. She, on the other hand, delights her father with her whimsical and insightful outlook. What’s more, Gülseren disturbs her joyless mother, who just wants to fit in and wants people to take her seriously. The young and genius Gülseren is too far ahead of her teachers. Therefore, she’s bounced from school for outspoken insolence that delights fellow students. However, it undermines the faculty, on the other hand.

Gülseren has a talent for multiplying four-digit numbers in her head
Gülseren has a talent for multiplying four-digit numbers in her head

Fireflies Metaphor as an Optimism

Even though she has no typing skills, she’s hired as a secretary. This is simply because she makes her employer laugh. However, her company self-destructs in white-collar fraud, leaving her to turn the family mansion into a boarding house to support her and her ever-griping mother. Their once-quiet street becomes a noisy urban thoroughfare filled with reveling, drinking partyers. All along, Gulseren can summon hundreds of magical fireflies that others don’t see. It might be a metaphor for her optimism. It may also show her preference to live in the beautiful world she can create. Because the other world is the ugly one that actually exists.

Gulseren can summon hundreds of magical fireflies that others don't see
Gulseren can summon hundreds of magical fireflies that others don’t see

The Cast of the Film

The Turkish film on Netflix brings together some of the most famous young and master talents. The creator of the movie Yılmaz Erdoğan is again acting as Patron (Boss) after a 22-year-break. Young stars of Beşiktaş Kültür Merkezi (BKM) (Beşiktaş Culture Center, Istanbul), Ecem Erkek and Atakan Çelik are also sharing the leading roles.

Master players such as Engin Alkan, Devrim Yakut, Sinan Bengier, and Asuman Dabak are also other valuable characters in the movie.

Atakan Çelik (a young videographer) is interviewing with Gülseren for her special talent
Atakan Çelik (a young videographer) is interviewing with Gülseren for her special talent

Trivia

  • Release Date: April 9, 2021
  • Cast: Ecem Erkek, Engin Alkan, Ushan Cakir, Merve Dizdar, Bulent Colak, Devrim Yakut
  • Director: Andac Haznedaroglu
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Comic Drama
  • Creator/Writer: Yılmaz Erdoğan
  • Run time: 114 minutes

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