Turkey, United States, 76 min
İlhan Mimaroğlu is the Turkish legendary pioneer of electronic music. With his wife Güngör he migrated to the USA in 1959. While he explored unheard soundscapes, she engaged in the Civil Rights Movement. Serdar Kökçeoğlu uses for this insightful portrait only footage shot by Mimaroğlu and his wife Güngör, thus conjuring an adventurous and fascinating story that needs to be discovered.
İlhan Mimaroğlu and his wife Güngör travelled from Istanbul to New York looking for a new world and a new life. İlhan would become in time one of the most revered pioneers and architects of electronic and avant-garde music at Columbia University while Güngör would dedicate herself to social engagement and exemplary political activism. By using only footage shot by Mimaroğlu and his wife, Serdar Kokceoğlu not only tells the story of a visionary artist and his relationship with a woman who challenged the dogmatic institutions of her time but also the transformations of a place, Manhattan, long before gentrification took over. Thus, the film becomes a multi-layered kaleidoscopic prism. Individual lives are woven into the larger fabric of the American society of that time. Mimaroğlu’s creative and artistic process is reflected as a sum made of differences that compose a challenging body of work. Mimaroğlu: The Robinson of Manhattan Island is a unique cinematic experience and also an utterly original portrait of a man whose work shaped in unforeseen ways the 20th century.
Giona A. Nazzaro