The Essence of Existence in “Behind The Hill”: A Story of (Non)Exisence by Emin Alper


Emin Alper’s debut movie Tepenin Ardı (Behind The Hill, 2012) shows how reality and individual and social integrity are established through an ontological void at the core of reality itself. It tells the story of Faik, his son, his grandsons, and a Yoruk (nomad) family who work for him in a remote location on a vast plain. The story is focused on Faik’s conflicts with the Yoruks, who, he claims, live “beyond the hill,” but who, apart from their presence in Faik’s discourse, never actually appear throughout the movie. By telling this story of the Yoruks, whose existence is a “fiction” and whose reality is “fictionalized,” Emin Alper displays people’s need and tendency to create enemies of others. Moreover, he shows that the “reality” of individuals and societies is also a fiction, built upon an ontological void that threatens to engulf that very reality. In order to analyze the structure of the movie, this article invokes two of Slavoj Zizek’s most significant concepts, the Real and fantasy reality.