Prepare yourself for a lot of tissues. “Paper Lives“, in German “Das Leben ist wie ein Stück Papier“, original title in Turkish “Kagittan Hayatlar“ is an excellent film with powerful and touching messages. The dark, modern and heartbreaking side of Istanbul with its homeless children and teenagers on the streets seen through the eyes of the main character Mehmet (actor: Çagatay Ulusoy) is incredibly touching and eye-opening.
Mehmet is going to die unless he gets a kidney transplant. On top of his life’s wish list is the deep desire to find his mother. Just when Mehmet is about to start his journey, he finds an abandoned small boy. He takes the young 8-year-old Ali (actor: Emir Ali Dogrul) under his wing and he changes his life.
This film is a window to an unknown and shamefully tragic world. Most humans who see homeless people ignore them. They never make the time to think twice about these people’s destiny and misery. Even though this boy Ali is not a refugee child in this film, he represents the refugee children of today in Turkey and other countries, who have lost their parents and are surviving on the streets.
In my opinion, this film deserves all kinds of International Film Nominations and Awards for the best story, best acting, and best production. Our shallow, selfish, thoughtless, and superficial world of today needs more of these kinds of deep and meaningful movies. Now more than ever!