TURNING was made in 1973 to coincide with the 700th Anniversary of the life of Jelaluddin Rumi (30 Sept 1207–17 Dec 1273)
It traces the evolution of our appreciation of Universal Nature.
The film begins with the Anatolian neolithic city of Çatalhöyük, 50 kilometers from modern Konya. Discovered and partially excavated by the archaeologist, James Mellaart, Çatahöyük flourished 7,000 years before the birth of Christ and is to date the earliest known city. Its culture was dominated by the symbol of the goddess, maternal and eternally prolific.
The story then moves to Ephesus, the Aegean seaport which was for many years the centre of the cult of the goddess, and maps the progress from Artemis to Diana and then to the Virgin Mary, whose house is in the hills nearby. Returning to Konya, the 13th century home of the great saint, poet and teacher, Jelaluddin Rumi, Turning concludes with a beautiful portrait of the ritual Sema, the mystic dance of the Whirling Dervishes in which the Human is seen as the link between God and Creation.
Produced and narrated by the Australian actress, Diane Cilento, Turning is set in Asia Minor, now known as Turkey, a part of the world which has historically exerted a profound influence on Western culture and beliefs.
Bulent Rauf is the narrator of the second half of the film, providing a concise commentary on the cosmology expressed. He studied Hittite Archaeology at Yale University and acted as advisor to the film. Bulent was consultant to the Beshara School of Esoteric Education in the UK from its inception until his death in 1987.