ISTANBUL — The premier of ‘Memory Too Low For Words’, a film which transforms Hrant Dink’s words to color, shape and sound was held at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall on the evening of January 12. The film, devised and produced by Ümit Kivanç, lays before us the ‘errors’ in the ‘system’ which did not allow space for Hrant Dink and his words. On the 15th year of his assassination, the film sheds light on Hrant Dink’s passion which made him a target, and allows us to hear from his own voice his dreams for Turkey and the world in these tumultuous days.

Following the hour long screening, Fethiye Çetin, Ümit Kivanç, and Arat Dink held a short talk moderated by Zeynep Sungur.

Zeynep Sungur, the Communications Coordinator at Hrant Dink Foundation moderated the post-screening talk and thanked Ümit Kivanç for bringing together the values that Hrant Dink defended throughout his life in such a beautiful documentary which also appeals to our memories. She said that we are reminded once again of the timelessness and validity of Hrant Dink’s words.

Fethiye Çetin pointed to the wound, referring to Hrant Dink’s following words: “From a population of 3,000,000 on these lands we became 300,000 when we became a Republic. They consumed that 300,000, they also consumed what my ancestors produced.” On the other hand, she reminded us that Hrant Dink showed us how to build a peaceful future with his lexicon that reached even the hardest hearts. Explaining that the way to be hopeful for the future is to mourn together the huge void caused by the wounds, Fethiye Çetin pointed out that this is one of the most important messages Hrant Dink gave us.

Fethiye Çetin, that we have seen for years how insurmountable pain and mourning imprison us in spirals of fear, anger and violence. She finished her speech with Hrant Dink’s answer to the question “How can we overcome this deadlock?” “With memory exchange, conversation, dialogue, and the indispensable condition for these is freedom of expression… Because we are each other’s doctors. You are my doctor, I am yours…”

Ümit Kivanç explained his reasons for making this documentary, why now, and where the name of the documentary came from. “I think that we have a great debt, but I could only do it now; until now I did not have the courage to spend days with Hrant Dink’s speeches. Hrant Dink was a person who spoke more than he wrote; we feel what he says as a whole through his voice, his facial expressions, his eyebrows and eye movements. His writings are also permanent, but his living presence was something else, which could only be transferred to film. A memory is required to listen to Hrant Dink’s words, but what we do is to close that memory.

There is a sequence in the movie where the computer screen behind Hrant Dink shows “memory is too low for word”; I perceived it as no room for words. The name of the documentary comes from there.” In response to a question reminding that Hrant Dink was killed 15 years ago because of the words he said, and about whether these words are still valid today, he said: “Hrant Dink speaks as a citizen of this country who wants law and democracy. These words are much more valid now than they were then. If Hrant Dink were here today, he would have to say more.”

Arat Dink expressed what this documentary. “His two grandchildren watched this movie today, it allowed them to get to know their grandfather better, it gave us a great gift, Ümit Kivanç, we thank him very much. We always think about how we can explain our father to future generations, how we can pass his words on; Ümit Kivanç gave the answer to this question in the most correct way. My father had the ability to combine everyday words with deep meanings, and the everyday images of Ümit Kivanç in the documentary are in parallel with this side of my father.”

The movie is available online:

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