Although it risks going unnoticed, Paper lives deserves to be cited as one of the most succeeded drama films of this beginning of 2021, and the quote that introduces the film in the opening credits also suggests a dense and demanding film: “In a world where children cry, laughing can only be cruel”. It can be watched on Netflix.
The latest film by the turkish director Can Ulkay is a cry of pain from abandoned children all over the world who, in order to survive in the suburbs of large cities, are forced to make all kinds of expedients and to behave like men even before they are.
The protagonist Mehmet (Çağatay Ulusoy) is a young man who earns his living by collecting recyclable material in the trash of Istanbul. Mehmet runs a small landfill in the suburbs of the Turkish metropolis together with other young boys who, like him, were abandoned by their parents when they were children.
One day Mehmet finds a child, Ali, inside a cardboard box. Mehmet and Ali soon become inseparable and Mehmet promises the child to fulfill his dream: to bring him back to the mother, who abandoned him, with enough money to escape from a violent father.
Paper lives is an authentic and profound film that leaves no escape for those who ignore the suffering of the least; it is a film that denounces the state of abandonment in which millions of children live in big cities around the world which, however different in their being a destination for tourists thanks to their scenic and artistic beauties, they are all the same in their suburbs of decay and crime.