1+8 is a film by Angelika Brudniak and Cynthia Madansky about Turkey’s unique position between West and East and her relationship to her eight very distinct and diverse neighbours. 1+8 is filmed close up on border towns of Turkey with Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Nakhchivan/Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria exploring what connects and separates the people on both sides. The film showcases through intimate portraits, personal accounts and cinematographic tropes, Turkey’s eight borderlands revealing the political and cultural dynamics of life on those frontiers and the complexity and importance of Turkey’s geo-political position between West and East, Europe and Asia, the European Union and the Middle East.
Through an assemblage of encounters and experiential moments, 1+8 portrays the human tensions, the ideological fissures and poetic energies present at the junctures where identities, landscapes and communities converge. The borderlanders give a first hand intimate account of border culture, rituals of transaction and mediation reflecting on issues of inclusion, exclusion, national and transnational connectivity and interdependence, conveying whether they experience the border as a bridge or a barrier. 1+8 engages in urgent and striking contemporary discussions on issues such as nationalism, geography, raising questions about identity, identification and the nation as an imagined community.