|‘Eylül’ tells the story of grim emotional struggle based around a young man called Yusuf. Yusuf (28) works as a craftsman in a jewellery atelier in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Although the world of the small trader looks incredibly colourful, exotic and vibrant from the outside, in reality Yusuf’s life is pure monotony. ‘September’ presents an arresting slice of life from Yusuf’s parochial world with a focus on male/female relationships.|
Yusuf’s wife Aslı (25) has been hospitalized with a lung condition. Living far from her hometown of Kıyıköy with no friends or family in Istanbul except Yusuf, the quiet, introspective woman is swept up in a tide of depression when it’s suspected she may have cancer. Aslı’s fear of death and sense of isolation are so profound that she shies from sharing her troubles with husband Yusuf; and this in turn pushes him into his own solitary world. As the illness takes its course, so the young husband and wife begin to drift apart. But this has nothing to do with dwindling affections, indifference or lack of feeling. On the contrary, they seem unable to get through one another in spite of the powerful bond between them. And Yusuf lacks the experience and maturity to soothe Aslı’s scathing, resentful moods.
It’s at this point that we meet Elena (22), a woman Aslı shares her hospital room with. Elena, blighted by bad luck and struggling to survive far away from her home country, has fallen in with a ruthless crowd. In fact, the reason why she has landed in hospital - even if she tries to hide it at first - is the violence she has suffered at the hands of her lover. After spending two days in hospital with Aslı, Elena is discharged and goes her own way. But only a day or two later, she tracks down Yusuf again. The woman is in serious trouble and she has no one to turn to but Yusuf.
Yusuf helps Elena out. But he can’t get it across to his circle of tradesmen friends that this is just help. Then again, he doesn't exactly push himself to explain either. Because in a world where men have a stereotyped view of women, it’s perfectly obvious why he would be taking care of a Bulgarian woman. As for Elena, after so many painful experiences, she finds relief in clinging to someone as calm, kind and sensitive as Yusuf. The very state of her betrays untold suffering since she left her own country; no wonder, then, that having seen his gentle, diffident manner and the tenderness he tries to show his wife, she sees Yusuf as her only haven. From this point on, Elena has literally no choice but to turn to Yusuf.
This inevitable closeness that gradually develops between Elena and Yusuf brings with it a growing sense of guilt. The story, which could be described through different eyes as philandering or an affair, is actually a reflection of male loneliness, a monotonous life and shallow relationships.