The subject of Grant Gee’s latest project has been described by the great art historian, Simon Schama as “the single most powerfully beautiful, humane and affecting work of contemporary art anywhere in the world.”
He refers to the Museum of Innocence, a museum in Istanbul which houses real objects that trace the fictional love affair described in the novel of the same name, both of which are the creations of writer Orhan Pamuk.
In this feature length documentary essay, fact and fiction are artfully interwoven in a tripartite narrative whose main characters are the city of Istanbul, the Museum of Innocence, and Orhan Pamuk himself, whose life and work have been indelibly influenced by the city he roams. The reciprocity of all these relationships – novel and museum, writer and city, reality and fiction – is explored through a unique interleaving of narrative voiceover, interviews, music, animation, fictional sequences and archive.
We are taken on a cinematic, atmospheric, and noir-esque journey through the deserted streets of Istanbul at night, drifting along the waterways of Bosphorous and – central to this stunning and original film – we are guided through the vitrines of the Museum of Innocence.