Going Turkish in Bethnal Green: UK film premiere of My Suburban Story, followed by dinner at Wood Mangal

Still from Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story(2017)

Later this month, our Tower Hamlets travelling community cinema pops-up at Oxford House in East London for a very special evening: the UK premiere of acclaimed mockumentary Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story.

The film was released in Turkey last year to rave reviews. It’s set in the back streets of Adana, southern Turkey, where director Yunus Ozan Korkut captures the essence of life through the eyes and tales of brilliant local characters living in Ceyhan, on the outskirts of the city.

Korkut, who is also from Adana, draws on his circle – family, friends, neighbours and other local notables – for this rare and authentic insight into their untold and, to the outsider, invisible world. His exquisite palette of personalities include Culluk Yusuf the expert bird-thief, feminist former village headwoman Naime, Devran who loves to prop up the bar, and local strongman Cihangir Abi.

Culluk Yusuf the expert bird-thief in Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story(2017)

The film’s strength comes from its sincere storytelling: Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story is both funny and heart-warming, and yet it doesn’t shy away from the darkness: the poverty, and the unfairness and uphill struggles of their lives. The film is 30-year-old Korkut’s debut feature length film, having previously produced and directed six shorts, including his award-winning Mualla (2015).

Double-bill: Mutluluk / Happiness

As part of February’s Turkey theme, The Hamlets will also screen an award-winning short before the main feature. Also making its UK premiere will be Mutluluk / Happiness, written, directed and produced by Necip Caghan Ozdemir. It tells the story of a man working at a car repair shop who is determined to overcome the gloom and misery around him to spread happiness.

Post-screening dinner at Wood Mangal in Bethnal Green

After the films, what better way to complete our Turkish experience than by popping into nearby Wood Mangal for a delicious Turkish meal? A firm favourite among locals, the restaurant is described as having “Quality food and exceptional service”. Their menu includes all classic dishes, from Turkish pizza to famous stews and tasty kebabs, including a rather fine Adana kebab. And to top things off, the lovely people at Wood Mangal are giving all Hamlets film-goers a 10% discount off their bill on the night.

Turkey's famed Adana kebab (centre dish) - the perfect post-screening meal after seeing Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story (2017) set in Adana.

Given this is a UK premiere of two fantastic movies we expect seats to sell very quickly, so buy your tickets early to avoid disappointment. Admission is just £3 per person plus booking fee, available from Eventbrite, or £5 on the night (should any tickets remain). See below for details on how to book online.

About The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema

Launched in September 2017, The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema is a community cinema project managed by film charity Balik Arts and funded by Tower Hamlets Council as part of its Thriving High Streets programme.

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Event: The Hamlets UK presents the UK premiere of My Suburban Story
Language: both films Turkish with English subtitles
Film Classification: 15
Date: Tuesday 27th February 2018
Start Time: 7.15pm
Duration: 79 mins (Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story) + 12 mins (Mutluluk / Happiness)
Venue: Oxford House, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG
Tickets: £3 + booking fee, tickets available online on Eventbrite (screening only, dinner at Wood Mangal is extra).

Post-screening dinner at Wood Mangal in Bethnal Green

Date: Tuesday 27th February 2018
Venue: Wood Mangal, 29 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 6AH
Reservation: no prior booking is needed. Just turn up after the screening and say you're from The Hamlets to qualify for your 10% discount.
For more info about the restaurant: Tel  020 7739 9121 or email info@woodmangal.com or visit their Facebook page


  1. I love this place in particular, it always has the best and impressive events every year. The home studios NYC have the perfect location if you are looking to host the event of a lifetime. The main-level features a large comfortable space.


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