Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this romantic drama, a young man has to overcome long-standing prejudices between Turks and Greeks as well as the usual obstacles on the road to love. Boatman (Memet Ali Alabora) has lived nearly all his life in a small Turkish fishing village where he was found as an infant after being abandoned by his mother. Now 20 years old, tall and good-looking, Boatman still feels cut off from the world because he can neither hear nor speak. One day, Boatman sees a beautiful Greek girl (Katerina Mousatsos) singing at a fair, and for him its love at first sight. However, his friends and family don't think much of the new woman of his dreams, and when he tries to swim from his harbor to the small island she calls home (much as Leander swam the Dardanelles in pursuit of Hero in Greek mythology), he finds himself under arrest. Kayikci/Boatman was screened as part of the 1999 Istanbul Film Festival.