Miracle in Cell 7 Review – Four Stars! A Triumph of the Human Spirit

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Miracle in Cell 7, from CJ Entertainment Turkey, presents an all-too-common story of the vulnerable and the voiceless in society who without means or resource become victimized by those looking to blame and seeking revenge.

The film is played primarily in flashback. The opening scene, a voice over detailing the current change in Turkish law which puts an end to capital punishment gives way to where our story begins.

A small Turkish village, a young girl, Ova, played by Nisa Aksongur, her father, Memo, played by Aras Bulut Lynemli, and although he is mentally challenged, his love for his daughter and grandmother, played by Celile Toyon, is his life.


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Of slim means, the three of them live happily oblivious to the outside world save a few exceptions when Memo is ridiculed by the school children, called the town idiot or a dimwit. His understanding is in the physical realm, the words are meaningless to him. For his daughter and mom, the words are real, and each try to protect him from the local bullies, cruel children, and others who hurl insults believing the words make an imprint on him.

On this day Ova is mesmerized by a beautiful red Heidi backpack. Memo tries to buy it only he doesn't have enough money. He sets out to earn the money to buy the backpack for his loving daughter. After earning the money, he and Ova return, only to find the backpack has been sold to the Lt. Colonel's daughter. Memo tries to take the backpack from her, and the Lt. Colonel knocks him to the ground.

The next day he is out tending sheep, when the girl appears, privileged and cruel, she taunts him to follow her, follow the red backpack, onto a rocky ledge by the sea. She slips, hits her head, and dies.


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Memo taken by the police, a confession beaten out of him, and sent to prison. Ova and granny hope to see him and are denied. Life begins in prison as one would expect. A mentally challenged falsely accused victim set to the general population of those who by their own admission are incarcerated justly.

He is placed in Cell 7, at the time prisoner in Turkey were housed in a dormitory style prison hall. Soon, after the initial beatdown, he slowly integrates with these men. His childlike behavior, enthusiasm in the few moments of freedom begin to weigh on these men, who so accustomed to conning can see Memo was a scapegoat.

The men have a designate, whom they go to, appointed by the warden. For Cell 7, it is Askorozlu, played by Ilker Aksum, a tough as they come hardened thief. A street rival sets him up and attempts to kill him in prison. Memo saves him, nearly dying in the process. From this time forward, Askorozlu, who owes him his life swears his allegiance.


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This ushers in more comedic season as the men first smuggle in his daughter for the first visit in some time. Of course, they are caught, and the joy and love between them begins the transformation process. With each of the men experiencing a level of transformation.

Soon the truth is found out and the Lt. Colonel still deeply wounded over the death of his daughter silences the man before he can free Memo. This sets off another slight of hand effort by our transformed redeemed criminals.

Miracle in Cell 7, the official Turkish entry for Best International Feature, is a triumph!


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Led by Aras Bulut İynemli who flawlessly embodies a mentally challenged lost soul, to each of the men who find themselves changed by his presence, the ensemble cast presents moments of pure joy, sorrow, and sadness delivering award winning performances of the highest caliber that translate and become relatable to anyone who has ever experienced the harshness of injustice.

Miracle in Cell 7 presents the transformative power of love, goodness in the darkest seasons, hope when it appears hopeless. See it.

Year – 2020.

Runtime - 132 minutes.

Country - Turkey.

Language – Turkish, with English Subtitles.

Director - Mehmet Ada Öztekin.

Screenplay - Özge Efendioğlu, Kubilay Tat.

Based on Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013) by Lee Hwan-kyung.

Cast - Aras Bulut İynemli, Nisa Aksongur, Celile Toyon, Deniz Baysal, İlker Aksum.

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