HURRIYET DAILY NEWS – A new film portraying incidents in Eastern Anatolia during World War I through the eye of a U.S. nurse has been finished.
The film, “The Ottoman Lieutenant,” stars Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley (“Gandhi,” “Schindler’s List”), Josh Hartnett (“Black Hawk Down,” “Pearl Harbor”), Hera Hilmar (“Anna Karenina,” Da Vinci’s Demons”), Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”) and Turkish actors Haluk Bilginer and Selçuk Yöntem.
Bilginer was cast as Khalil Bey and Yöntem as Melih Pasha in the movie, in which many other actors of Turkish descent take minor roles.
British actor Kingsley brings life to the character Dr. Garrett Woodruf in the film.
In a career spanning 40 years, Kingsley has won an Oscar, a Grammy, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He is known for his starring role as Mohandas Gandhi in the 1982 film “Gandhi,” for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Directed by Joseph Ruben, who is known for films “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “The Forgotten,” the film’s script was written by Jeff Stockwell (“Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”).
Set in 1915 in the eastern province of Van, the film revolves around the love story between an idealistic American nurse and a Turkish officer in World War I.
“The Ottoman Lieutenant” tells the story of an American doctor named Jude, played by Hartnett, who is disappointed with the injustice in his country, and Lillie, played by Hilmar, an idealist young woman who leaves America to be with Jude during his duty at the Ottoman Empire.
At a time of worldwide war, Lillie falls in love with Ottoman Lieutenant İsmail, played by Huisman. As the war gets worse, Lillie needs to decide if she will live for herself or for others.
“As objective and respected to common sufferings of both Turks and Armenians, we wanted to show the audience what happened during World War I in Eastern Anatolia, a subject that has not been handled before,” said one of the producers of the film, Stephen Brown, who will also serve as a producer on a film about Rumi, the 13th century Ottoman mystic and poet, which is being developed with Academy Award-winning writer David Franzoni.
Besides Turkey’s Cappadocia and Istanbul, the film was shot at Barrandov Studios in Prague and in various exterior locations in Prague and the Czech Republic. Sets were constructed on a 300,000-square-meter lot at Barrandov Studios.
A co-production of Y Production and Es Film, the North American premiere of “The Ottoman Lieutenant” will be held in Los Angeles.