99 min / 2015 / Turkey, USA, UK / US Premiere
SECTION(S): Global Hollywood
Directed by Sally Sussman Morina
Written by Sally Sussman Morina
Starring Billy Hayes
Friday 02/12/2016 – 8:20:00 PM – Metro 2
Saturday 02/13/2016 – 2:00:00 PM – Metro 1
Join Billy Hayes on a daring journey as he returns to Turkey thirty years after his escape from prison and faces the country still haunted by the film based on his life, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS.
May 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the classic film’s debut at the Cannes Film Festival. MIDNIGHT EXPRESS was an international blockbuster and winner of two Academy Awards. Despite all the accolades the film received, it caused shame and embarrassment to the country of Turkey. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost as the tourism industry became non-existent. To add insult to injury, the movie has never gone away. It still airs on television all over the world leaving the thirty-year-old wounds unhealed. Knowing that it was his story which caused the country so much pain, Billy Hayes sets out to rectify the situation and make amends to the people of Turkey. His goal of returning to Turkey is met with fierce resistance from the Turkish government which denies him a visa several times. Billy gives up hope but then out of the blue, he receives a totally unexpected invitation from the Turkish National Police.
Despite warnings from family and friends who fear for his safety, Billy takes the risk and returns to Turkey. In June 2007 Billy and the filmmakers board a plane for Istanbul. Facing a country with thirty years of pent-up anger is no easy feat. Will his visit erase thirty years of hatred and acrimony? Find out as we explore the legacy of Billy Hayes as he faces the Turkish people and revisits the prison where he spent five horrific years.