Three Monkeys

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Three Monkeys
Three Monkeys VideoCover.png
DVD packaging
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Produced byZeynep Özbatur
Written by Ebru Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Ercan Kesal
Starring Yavuz Bingöl
Hatice Aslan
Ahmet Rıfat Şungar
Ercan Kesal
Cinematography Gökhan Tiryaki
Edited byAyhan Ergürsel
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Distributed by Zeitgeist Films (United States)
Pyramide International (Europe)
Release date
  • 2008 (2008)
Running time
109 minutes

Three Monkeys (Turkish : Üç Maymun) is a 2008 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The film was Turkey's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Academy Awards, and it made the January short-list but was not nominated. [1]

Turkish language Turkic language (possibly Altaic)

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkish film director, screenwriter, film producer and photographer

Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a Turkish film director, photographer, screenwriter and actor.

81st Academy Awards 2009 ceremony honoring the best in film for 2008

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2008 and took place on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards in 24 categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by ABC, and was produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark and directed by Roger Goodman. Actor Hugh Jackman hosted the show for the first time. Two weeks earlier in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California held on February 7, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Jessica Biel.



A family is dislocated when small failings become extravagant lies. The film opens as a wealthy businessman, Servet, running a campaign for the upcoming election, is driving in his car alone and sleepy, struggling to keep his eyes open. Seconds later he hits and kills a pedestrian in the middle of the road. Servet panics when another car with a couple inside approaches. He sneaks away.

Eyüp, a man living in a slum at the Yedikule neighborhood in İstanbul, with his wife and only son, is the driver of Servet. He wakes up in the middle of the night with his cell phone ringing. It's his boss, telling Eyüp to meet him immediately. Shivering in shock, Servet explains the current events to his driver. His excuse is if the fatal accident comes out in press it would terminate his political career, so he proposes Eyüp to take over the penalty and stay in prison for a brief period of time in exchange for a lump sum payment upon his release, whilst still paying his salary to his family so they can get by. Eyüp accepts the deal.

A slum is a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons. While slums differ in size and other characteristics, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of clean water, reliable electricity, law enforcement and other basic services. Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally built dwellings which, because of poor-quality construction or provision of basic maintenance, have deteriorated.

Yedikule Neighbourhood in Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

Yedikule is a neighborhood of Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey. It is named after the seven-towered Yedikule Fortress, which surrounds the neighborhood.

An unspecified time passes, summer arrives, and Eyüp's son İsmail fails to enter college again. His mother, Hacer, who works in the catering division of a factory, starts worrying about her son after unpleasant events, and tries to convince him to get a job. İsmail suggests driving children between home and school but of course they don't have any financial source for this kind of an enterprise. İsmail asks his mother to request an advance payment from Servet without consulting Eyüp. Hacer meets with Servet, in his office after the election (which he lost), and requests the money. After Hacer leaves the office and starts waiting for a bus at the stop Servet persuades Hacer to accept a lift from him back to her home.

More unspecified time passes, and İsmail intends to visit his father. Things take a poor turn when he finds his mother having an affair with Servet. İsmail stands passive. After serving nine months in prison, Eyüp is released. He senses things are "a little peculiar" inside his home. Hacer is in love with Servet and insists on maintaining their affair. Servet disagrees. That night, Hacer and Eyüp are invited to the police station and informed that Servet has been murdered. Police officers interrogate the two and Eyüp finds out that Hacer was cheating on him. He denies knowing anything about it. İsmail confesses to his mother that he murdered Servet. Eyüp calms down when he pays a visit to a mosque. Afterwards, Eyüp goes on to speak with a very poor man who works and sleeps inside a tea house in the neighborhood. Eyüp makes the same proposition to the poor man, Bayram, that Servet made to him: to claim the crime committed by his son.

Mosque Place of worship for followers of Islam

A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims.


Yavuz Bingöl Turkish musician and actor

Yavuz Bingöl is a Turkish folk music singer and actor.

Hatice Aslan is a Turkish actress who starred in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 2008 film Üç Maymun , for which Ceylan won the best director award at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Aslan was seen as a strong contender for the best actress award at the festival.


Three Monkeys has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a "certified fresh" rating of 78%, based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Exploring the effects of a family's dealings with an underhanded politician, this crime drama avoids showing the violent outcomes of its characters' misdeeds, resulting in a lingeringly potent film." [2] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 73 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [3]

Rotten Tomatoes American review aggregator for film and television, owned by Fandango

Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of media products: films, TV shows, music albums, video games, and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It has been described as the video game industry's "premier" review aggregator.


The film premiered in competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival on May 16, where Ceylan won, ten days later, the Award for Best Director. [4] It also won the Golden Anchor Competition Award at the Haifa International Film Festival. [5] The film won best special effects award at the Golden Orange Film Festival, [6] as well as the Siyad award at the International Eurasia Film Festival. [7] At the Osian's Cinefan Film Festival the film won the Best Director Award, [8] and at the "Manaki Brothers" Film Camera Festival it won Mosfilm Award and Special Mention. [9] Ceylan received the award for Achievement in Directing at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, [10] where the film also received nominations for Best Feature Film and Achievement in Cinematography.

2008 Cannes Film Festival

The 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival was held from 14 to 25 May 2008. The President of the Official Jury was American actor and director Sean Penn. Twenty two films from fourteen countries were selected to compete for the Palme d'Or. The awards were announced on 24 May. The film The Class, directed by Laurent Cantet won the Palme d'Or.

Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival) Award given at Cannes Film Festival

The Best Director Award is an annual award presented at the Cannes Film Festival for best directing achievements in a feature film screened as part of festival's official selection. Awarded by festival's jury, it was first given in 1946.

Haifa International Film Festival annual film festival held in Haifa, Israel

The Haifa International Film Festival is an annual film festival that takes place every autumn, during the week-long holiday of Sukkot, in Haifa, Israel.

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Zeitgeist Films American independent film distributor

Zeitgeist Films is an American independent film distributor based in New York City founded in 1988 by co-Presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo. Films distributed by Zeitgeist are strongly auteur-driven by directors such as Christopher Nolan, Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Todd Haynes, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Olivier Assayas, Abbas Kiarostami, Deepa Mehta, Jan Švankmajer and the Brothers Quay. The expansive Zeitgeist film library includes Trouble the Water, The Corporation, Jellyfish, Examined Life, Into Great Silence, Ten and Irma Vep. In June 2008, the MoMA honored two decades of Zeitgeist successes with a month-long, twenty film retrospective entitled Zeitgeist: The Films of Our Time, exhibiting the distributor's twenty most critically acclaimed, intellectually stimulating titles.

The culture of Turkey combines a heavily diverse and heterogeneous set of elements that have been derived from the various cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asian region and to a lesser degree, Eastern European, and Caucasian traditions. Many of these traditions were initially brought together by the Ottoman Empire, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state.

The International Federation of Film Critics is an association of national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world for "the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests." It was founded in June 1930 in Brussels, Belgium. At present it has members in more than 50 countries worldwide.

<i>Uzak</i> 2002 film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Uzak is a 2002 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. It was released as Distant in North America, a literal translation of its title. The movie is the winner of 31 awards including Best Actor at Cannes, Special Jury Prize at Chicago, and Best Balkan Movie at Sofia International Film Festival.

<i>Climates</i> (film) 2006 film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Climates is a 2006 Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The film charts the deteriorating relationship between a professional Istanbul couple, İsa and Bahar, played by Ceylan and his wife Ebru Ceylan. It was Ceylan's first film shot on High-definition video.

45th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival 2008 film festival edition

The 45th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival was held from October 10 to 19 2008 in Antalya, Turkey. Awards were presented in the 45th Antalya Golden Orange Festival in 20 categories of three competition divisions and in the 4th Eurasia Film Festival in 4 categories. The award ceremony took place on October 19, 2008 at the Konyaaltı Amphitheatre in the downtown of Antalya. It was run in conjunction with the 4th International Eurasia Film Festival.

The Yeşilçam Award was the national film award of Turkey, which was presented annually by the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK) and Beyoğlu Municipality from 2008 to 2011. The award, which had been named after Yeşilçam Street in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul where many film studios were based during the 1950s-1970s, was discontinued following the announcement by the Alliance of Cinema Labor Unions' Yeşilçam Film Academy (YEFA) intention to start issuing their own Yeşilçam Academy Award in protest against TÜRSAK's disregard of their suggestions to give the awards a more professional structure.

The Enemy is a 1979 Turkish drama film, written, produced and co-directed by Yılmaz Güney with Zeki Ökten during Güney's second imprisonment, featuring Aytaç Arman as Ismail an overqualified young Turkish worker who unable to find employment is reduced to poisoning the local stray dogs and begging his father for part of his inheritance. The film was screened in competition for the Golden Bear at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival in 1980, where it won an Honourable Mention and the OCIC Award. It was also scheduled to compete in the cancelled 17th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, for which it received four Belated Golden Oranges, including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.

2010 Damascus International Film Festival

The 2010 Damascus International Film Festival is the 18th incarnation of the international film festival held in Damascus, Syria which ran from November 7 to 13, 2010. Prizes were awarded in three categories and a 222 films were shown in 18 categories during the course of the festival.

The 2nd Yeşilçam Awards, presented by the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture (TÜRSAK) and Beyoğlu Municipality, honored the best Turkish films of 2008 and took place on March 3, 2009, at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Hall in Istanbul, Turkey.

<i>Once Upon a Time in Anatolia</i> 2011 film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a 2011 internationally co-produced drama film, co-written and directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan based on the true experience of one of the film's writers, telling the story of a group of men who search for a dead body on the Anatolian steppe. The film, which went on nationwide general release across Turkey on September 23, 2011, premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival where it was a co-winner of the Grand Prix.

Mehmet Emin Toprak was a Turkish film actor.

<i>Winter Sleep</i> (film) 2014 film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Winter Sleep is a 2014 Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, adapted from the short story, "The Wife" by Anton Chekhov and one subplot of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The story is set in Anatolia and examines the significant divide between the rich and the poor as well as the powerful and the powerless in Turkey. It stars Haluk Bilginer, Demet Akbag and Melisa Sözen.

Emin Alper is a Turkish filmmaker and historian. His directorial debut, Beyond the Hill won the Caligari Film Prize in the 62nd Berlinale and Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. His second feature Frenzy won the Special Jury Prize after premiering in competition at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.

Ebru Ceylan is a Turkish photographer, actress, screenwriter and art director. She is married to collaborator Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

<i>The Wild Pear Tree</i> 2018 film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

The Wild Pear Tree is a 2018 Turkish drama film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected as the Turkish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.

Hainan International Film Festival

The Hainan International Film Festival is a film festival held in Sanya, Hainan, China. The inaugural festival was held from December 9 to 16, and included forums, ceremonies, and competitions. Actor Jackie Chan is the promotional ambassador.


Preceded by
Yeşilçam Best Film Award
Succeeded by