Cintheapera (Sintiyapera by Eylem Tok) is an abstract short film named after the art forms of cinema, theatre, opera and ballet. The title is shared with
the novel written by the film’s auteur, her third novel.
There is no dialogue, although each scene has its own specific sound. The film is based on the concept of a unified whole comprising the storyline of the novel and the art forms that are cinema, theatre, opera and ballet, and it conveys the message in a short section of the novel. The film could equally have been called Live and Die and/or Death and Life, but an open reference to life and death would have contradicted the abstract nature of the film or even suggested life after death, thereby undermining the mystery.
What makes the film abstract is the account of what goes on inside a person. The protagonist is struck by lightning just as he is about to commit suicide. What we see is the resuscitation attempts as experienced by the protagonist. The film ends with a figurative scene.
(Combining the abstract with the figurative stems from the auteur’s conviction that abstract art can still have a figurative fountainhead, or end with the figurative.)
The film’s message is ultimately left to the viewer. That being said, the reincarnated figure’s exit from the frame does suggest any one or several of the following: we might come back in another body after death; this might be somewhere near where we lived our previous life -or quite far; we might come back as a very similar character in this next life - or not; we might, indeed, come back as someone entirely different.
The four great religions of the book believe that man comes from the earth and is sent to eternity by interring; therefore, reincarnation also takes place from the earth, just as the remains of one organism eventually emerges in another and thereby finds new life.
The film starts inside the protagonist who is on the verge of death. The resuscitation efforts spark in the heart and soul of the dying man as the viewer experiences
what he does throughout this process. The viewer also loses consciousness, sees what the protagonist sees and leaves the self to return to earth.
The earth is formed of naked bodies, not underground as might be erroneously imagined. Naked as we come, and naked as we go. Countless creatures make up nature that is a whole.
The scores of professional models acting in the film are not credited out of consideration for their own wishes.