Beyto – parents try to keep traditional values for their son in a modern world
BEYTO is based on the novel by award-winning writer Yusuf Yesilöz, a multicultural story of love and emancipation, full of empathy, sensuality and summer feelings. Beyto is a terrific swimmer and everybody’s cool buddy, but as the young Swiss man with Turkish roots falls in love with his handsome coach Mike, his perfect world seems to fall apart. He’s one of the best athletes in his swimming team, gets good grades in his apprenticeship and has a lot of friends, both Turkish and Swiss. When Beyto’s parents find out, there is only one solution to maintain the tradition and honour of their family: He has to marry a woman as soon as possible.
They lure their son into their Turkish home village and organize a wedding with Beyto’s childhood friend Seher. All of a sudden, Beyto finds himself in the middle of a devastating love triangle: How can he stand by Mike without destroying Seher’s future? He’s about to lose either the support of his family or his inner self – the freedom-loving, tolerant and gay Beyto.
This is a film takes place in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country with traditional beliefs, and not so favourable views on homosexuality. Stereo typically speaking. Within the film, there are numerous different views and perspectives around family, tradition, and open-mindedness. Mike is openly gay, whereas Beyto is experiencing love for the first time. He knows “it’s not right,” but he can’t change his feelings. This is evident throughout as he’s constantly dealing with conflict, and secrecy. Then when he does tell his parents, they aren’t wll to accept as, “what would that do to the family name?”
So, off they all go to a pre-arranged marriage back in their hometown village in Turkey, where everyone knows everyone, and there’s no cell service. Lead there on the belief that his grandmother was dying and asked to see him one final time, Beyto only finds out upon arrival that a wedding is arranged for him. He’s trapped and needing out as his torment builds, but the father holds the air tickets. He has to tell someone, so he confides with one of his buddies, and also his bride to be. Both are confused, yet understanding.
It’s decided Seher will return to Switzerland and live with Beyto and his family, and work in the family kebab shop. Fast forward to Mike, Beyto, and Seher arranging the perfect scenario to all move away together and get a fresh start in Germany. Dreams come true in many different ways.
The film stars Swiss Movie Award winner Dimitri Stapfer (Mike), and newcomers Burak Ates (Beyto) and Ecem Aydi (Seher), who shine in their first leading roles.
Director Gitta Gsell
““Beyto” is a screen adaptation of the novel by Yusuf Yesilöz, published in 2011. I’m familiar with his work since a long time. When I read “Hochzeitsflug“, I immediately had the feeling that this story would be very suitable for the screen. Back then, I was teaching young people. I witnessed their slang with all its discriminating terms and also the problems which young people with migrant backgrounds have to face. The attitude of all characters in the novel is understandable. Beyto‘s parents want to continue living the traditions of their Turkish village in Switzerland. They still dream of the dry hills of Anatolia and close their minds to the influences of modern Switzerland. Beyto is torn between his cultural heritage on the one side and modernity on the other side. He tries to find his way between the home and cohesion of his family and the freedom of the Western world.
To get the tongue right and achieve authenticity, I went through all the dialogue with young men who have a Turkish background. For many parts we casted laymen, including the part of Beyto. Burak Ates, who took this part, had to learn the basics of acting very quickly. We rehearsed a lot and he delivered an excellent performance. He brought Beyto to life in such an emotional and passionate way. His experienced and engaged co-stars Dimitri Stapfer, Beren Tuna and Serkan Tastemur proved to be of great help. For the part of Seher we found a wonderful actress in Turkey – Ecem Aydin, who had just finished her professional training and was now in front of the camera for a feature film for the first time as well.
BEYTO sheds light on a topical problem. Freedom and tolerance for which the Western society has fought over centuries are offset by migrants of patriarchal societies. The film deals with this conflict without blaming, and is about individual life patterns that have to assert themselves in the conflict between different norms, ideologies and values.
It’s a unique story of a Turkish young man. But it’s also the story of many young people who want to live their own lives. Beyto is scared not to meet the expectations of his parents. He’s living a lie, like so many in our time. This lie leads to a domino effect and causes a seemingly hopeless situation.
BEYTO is on DVD and Digital December 7 from Dark Star Pictures.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.