Synopsis by Mark Deming
Turkish actress and filmmaker Yasemin Alkaya tries her hand at the documentary form with his powerful look at three women with ties to her past. Elif Caglayan was a childhood friend of Alkaya who now lives in Ankara and is trying to make a living as a singer, while her two children fend for themselves in Izmar. Elif and her sisters Funda and Aysun have spent much of their adult life coming to terms with a traumatic childhood in which their parents were killed during a bus accident that left the siblings terrified but physically unhurt. In time Funda and Aysun became mentally ill, and it fell to Elif to care for them, but eventually the burden became more than Elif and her husband could bear, and they deserted the siblings, leaving them to an unknown fate. Living in a country with no social safety net, Funda and Aysun fall prey to violence and exploitation, and their reunion with Elif and Yasemin is both poignant and troubling. Yasam Arsizi (aka Sidewalk Sisters) was an official selection at the 2008 Istanbul Film Festival.