DER Documentary

"It's a Young Country": Turkey and Akbank

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from the Development Communications Workshop Collection
by Franco Sacchi, Charles K. Mann
color, 18 min, 2009

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Commissioned to make a film for a teaching case at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, filmmaker Charles Mann drew upon seven years as a working economist in Turkey to produce a film that captures the spirit of the country's cultural and economic transformation.

Top management of Akbank, arguably Turkey's most successful bank, provide a window into contemporary Turkey and its prospects as they weigh alternative paths for the bank's future growth. Explaining Akbank's emphasis on innovation and youth, Chairman and Managing Director Suzan Sabancı Dinçer sums up Turkey's demographic transformation: "It's a young country!".

Economic historian Professor Yahya Sezai Tezel provides contextual narrative about the country's economic and cultural restructuring. Director Franco Sacchi's inspired cinematography provides images that support and illustrate the film's narrative arc of transformation. This film provides a real sense of engagement with contemporary Turkey by allowing viewers to see the country through the eyes of people both propelling and reacting to change in coastal and Anatolian towns, in universities, in metropolitan centers.

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