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For Immediate Release
January 13, 2000

ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY:
NAZIM HIKMET

(A video profile of the poet)

"My writings are published in thirty or forty languages in my
Turkey in my Turkish they're banned."
Nazim Hikmet (September 1961)

Program Title :
ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Series Title : THE LIGHT MILLENNIUM TV
Producer, Director & Editor:


BIRCAN UNVER

Braadcasting Dates : On channel #34
(Queens Public Television)
Monday, January 17th, at 10:00 PM,
Channel #35 (QPTV)
Thursday, January 20th, at 3:00 PM on.
Channel#34 (QPTV)
Monday, January 24th, 1:00 PM on.
Channel#35 (QPTV)
Thursday, January 27th, at 3:00 PM on.
Channel#34 (QPTV)
Monday, January 31th, at 10:00 PM on.
Length :

27 minutes

 

THE LIGHT MILLENNIUM TV objectives are to highlight freedom of speech, peace, culture and art issues as well as to profile poets, authors and artists as a monthly television program.

THE LIGHT MILLENNIUM TV is honored to present as a first program "ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY", a documentary that will be shown on Queens Public Television. The program conveys an essayistic documentary approach on internationally renowned Turkish poet, NAZIM HIKMET. The title, "On the Twentieth Century," comes from one of his great poems. The documentary is focused on the poet's struggles with the Turkish State in terms of freedom of thought as well as his difficulties in the former Soviet Union. "ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY" begins with a stanza from the long poem, "Epic of Sheik Bedreddin," which caused Nazim Hikmet to be sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment of which he served 13 years. The poems highlighted on the program are: 'Awaking', 'On the Twentieth Century', 'On Living III', and 'In the Snowy Night Woods', which is composed and sung by Zulfu Livaneli.

Participants are; Randy Blasing (Poet and Translator), Zulfu Livaneli (Composer, Musician, Author and
Goodwill Embassy of UNESCO), Dogan Hizlan (Literacy Critic), Niyazi Dalyanci (Journalist), Prof. Mutlu Konuk (Brown University) and Hugh Pope (Journalist, Wall Street Journal).

Music is by Zulfu Livaneli and also Graeme Revell & Roger Mason.

Interviews by Bircan Unver, translations from Turkish by Yunus Tuncel, voiceovers by John J. Culkin, Manfred Bormann and Gregg Gordon.

About the poet:

Nazim Hikmet was born in 1902 in Salonika, and grew up in Istanbul. His mother was an artist, and his pasha grandfather wrote poetry; through their circle of friends Hikmet was introduced to poetry early, publishing his first poems at age 17. The poet was imprisoned in January 1938, on the grounds that military cadets were reading his poem, "The Epic of Sheik Bedreddin". In 1950, when Turkey's first democratically elected government came to power, he was released in a general amnesty. Within a year, he was forced to do military service when he was in 50, and had a heart attack. Then he escaped to Russia, lived in exile for 12 years, and died in Moscow in 1963. (Source: Poems of Nazim Hikmet, by Randy Blasing & Mutlu Konuk)


GO TO WEB SITES FOR NAZIM HIKMET>
http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~sibel/poetry/nazim_hikmet.html

http://www.umut34.freeserve.co.uk/nazim/

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The below article is in the "Turkiye" newspaper about celebrating Nazim Hikmet's 98th Birthday in New York. A screening of Nazim Hikmet's video profile, "On the Twentieth Century" at the Queens Public Television, was held before the reception. (On January 19, 2000, by Cengiz Toprak)




FEEDBACKS:

It was a pleasure to watch your documantery about Nazim, for he wrote some of my most favorite poems. I almost feel privilidged in a perverted way for coming from a country that puts thinkers in jail! At least, as Livaneli says, we take them seriously just like the government takes them which is an imposible concept to grip for most Americans. Thank you for sharing your work with us.
Brian Felsen & Elif Savas, New York

Marianne and I finally had a chance to watch your film about Nazim Hikmet. We were both much impressed. You're doing some great work.
Stephen Kinzer - New York Times
, Istanbul

Zorlu bir ugrastan sonra cocugu uyuttum sonrasinda da cok yoruldugum icin asagi kata indim. Televizyonu actim. Seyredecek program bulamadigim icin kanallar arasinda sorf yapiyordum ki, Nazim Hikmet Usta ile ilgili hazirlamis oldugunuz program ile karsilastim. Butun yorgunlugum gecti. Tesekkurler...
Unal Ali Riza,
New York



Contact: Bircan Unver
E-mail: lightmillennium@yahoo.com
Phone: 1-718-846 5776
Fax: 1-718-441-8811

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@The Light Millennium magazine was created and designed
by Bircan Unver. January 2000, New York