Private Project


Patara tells the story of the reconstruction of the world´s first federal parliament, built 50 BC in Anatolia, Turkey. At the beginning of this millenium the Turkish government decided to reconstruct the ancient assembly hall of Patara to set up a stage for a meeting between U.S. president Barack Obama and the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Apparently Obama never came. Therefore the film looks at both sides of the coin of what Obama once called a „model partnership“, a strategical cooperation between the U.S. and the Turkish administration, promising international appreciation and economical growth.

  • Axel Koenzen
  • Ali Goezkaya
  • Axel Koenzen
  • Jost Hering
  • Axel Koenzen
  • Ali Goezkaya
  • Tuerker Korkmaz
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 19, 2016
  • Country of Filming:
    Turkey, United States
  • Language:
    English, Kurdish, Turkish
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Kasseler Dokfest
    November 19, 2016
    German Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Jost Hering Films
    Country: Germany
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Axel Koenzen, Ali Goezkaya

Axel Koenzen studied Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York and worked as a freelance photographer and visual researcher for companies such as Ridley Scott & Associates and Columbia Tristar Los Angeles. He studied at the German Film and Television School Berlin (dffb), where he directed several short films including Waxandwane (1999) and Firn (2006), which were both selected for the Cinéfondation section of the Inter-national Film Festival in Cannes. Mr. Koenzen´s first feature film Deadweight (2016) premiered in the Forum section of the 66th International Film Festival in Berlin and is a co-production of Rohfilm/Germany and Bufo/Finland. His second feature film Blood of the Walsungs (after a novella by Thomas Mann) is currently in development. Mr. Koenzen also works as a director of advertisement – i.e. BVR-campaign WAS uns antreibt (ADC gold medal). Patara (2016) is Axel Koenzen´s first feature-length documentary.

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Director Statement

This film was shot almost entirely in a team of two persons - Axel Koenzen and Ali Gözkaya, both functioning as writer & director, as well as cinematographer and sound recordist. What was originally intended to be a film about reconstruction, became a stream of consciousness, a meditation on the state of post-modern democracy in Turkey and abroad. Over the course of three years (2011-2013) we observed the events and political circumstances surrounding the reconstruction of the ancient Bouleuterion of Patara, following the traces of the people we met and who confronted us.