F.: Kaya Ererez. M.: Celal Köse. Mus.: Arif Erkin. Int.: Yılmaz Güney (Cabbar), Gülsen Alnıaçık (Fatma), Tuncel Kurtiz (Hasan), Osman Alyanak (Hodja), Sema Engin (Cemile), Sevgi Tatlı (Hatice), Kürşat Alnıaçık (Mehmet Emin), Hicret Gürson (Hicret), Enver Dönmez (il ladro). Prod.: Güney Film DCP. D.: 97’. Bn.
Due to the growing popularity of taxi cabs, the horse-drawn carriage driver Cabbar is finding it difficult to support his large family of five children, wife and elderly mother. When one of his horses is killed in a car accident, he loses his livelihood. In the face of debt and joblessness, he sells the family belongings in order to buy a new horse. Meanwhile, his creditors seize his carriage and the horse. Cabbar is now left with a gun that he wasn’t able to sell. His friend Hasan convinces him to rob a rich man, a plot that ends catastrophically.
Despite losing everything, he supports his fellow phaeton drivers by joining their protest against the local government’s decision to ban all horse-drawn carriages. But now all his hopes are irrevocably shattered. As a last resort, he and Hasan go off on a treasure hunt on the banks of Ceyhan river. Guided by a local hodja (preacher), their search is futile. Losing his patience, Cabbar is slowly driven to insanity.
Banned in Turkey for propagating class differences, Umut dwells upon the theme of false hope and class consciousness. Cabbar, whose only hope is lottery tickets and misguided spirituality, has nothing to lose but his male pride as symbolized by the gun. His support for the drivers’ protest comes too late and he is easily distracted by the prospect of the treasure hunt. A close relative of Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Ousmane Sembène’s Borom Sarret (1963), Umut could easily be considered an heir to the Third cinema movement.