Love in Another Language: A Movie Romance With Much Rowing

Shot in 2009, the Turkish fictional film “Love in Another Language” (Başka Dilde Aşk) is a love story of deaf man Onur and hearing woman Zeynep in Istanbul. Played by Mert Fırat (born 1981), the hero is an enthusiastic rower (obviously a lightweight sculler).

“Love in Another Language” may be the most rowing-permeated of the films whose stories are not essentially about the sport. Rowing scenes are included as if it were just by the way but you can indulge in them throughout the whole film: Onur practicing on an erg at home, going out in a single or a double, racing in a quad, checking the slide, getting off a Galatasaray Rowing jersey, sleeping in the boat park...

Especially impressive is the main role actor's performance: Fırat had to enter two unfamiliar worlds – sign language and rowing – and mastered their rules with bravura and full spontaneity. It is an ointment for the soul of a rowing lover to see that actors in a film that incorporates rowing shots can really row – much more credibly than, say, in “Summer Storm” (Sommersturm) of 2004, not speaking about the truly catastrophic “Fandy, Oh Fandy” of 1983 (a Czech film that has disappeared from the YouTube so the potential spectators cannot join the suffering of the main characters, thrown by the merciless director into the most difficult rowing boat – a coxless pair – without any traces of training). In the “fiction film with rowing” category, the Turks have demonstrated excellence, the Germans have much to fine-tune, and the Czechs have a considerable debt.

(All images used are grabs from YouTube videos of "Love in Another Language".)

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