Our Islands

Documentary Film / 2014 / 82 Min.

Photo: Still from the film

“Unsere Inseln – mit den Augen eines Musikers” ist ein Dokumentarfilm über die Lebensgeschichten der ethnisch und kulturell sehr heterogenen Einwohner der Prinzeninseln nahe bei Istanbul.

It presents dramatic episodes of life on the islands and showcases a rich musical heritage. These islanders make up a unique microcosm of people - artists, fisherman, philosophers, phaeton drivers and housewives – all with unique stories; they have deep bonds with the past and strong ideas about the present and the future.

The story also follows the story of the architecture student Eren Balkan (a trained actress) who has come to the island for her Masters in architecture. In her search for key architectural sites on the islands, she interacts with the islanders. Director, Nedim Hazar, a resident islander and musician, narrates her journey.

In the film, the music underlines the ethnic microcosm of the island and lets the audience experience the feeling hidden in it sensually. The islanders defy the harsh reality that the Princes’ Islands, like all other treasures of Istanbul, are doomed to die with an optimistic song at the end of the film:

“My heart is for only for you and the islands.
There is no one else”

During the filming in 2013, the “Gezi Protests” were at their peak Istanbul. These also revived the “islanders’ identity”. The film documents, for example, a forum of over a thousand islanders on the then uninhabited island of Yassiada. Their plea to leave this island as a nature reserve or museum was unfortunately not heard. On Yassiada, oversized hotels are being built now. The horse carriages, a landmark of the islands, belong meanwhile to the past too.

Play Film
Written and
Directed By

Nedim Hazar

Director of Photography

Caner Küçük

Line Producer

Gülşin Ketenci


Mete Bağcı


Nedim Hazar Film and Music


Geo Schaller, Nedim Hazar und many more


The Islands Foundation


New York Independent Film Festival

D'Avvenir Film Festival, Rome


Press Gallery

Nikiforos Metaxas

Musician and Philosopher (1944 - 2015)

Zimbabwean-born Nikiforos Metaxas lived on one of the Prince Islands for the last 15 years of his life. In collaboration with Turkish and Greek musicians he produced numerous albums and hits for the Turkish music market. His latest project is documented in this film: He was in the process of building a music centre from the ruins of the former Greek school on Heybeliada, one of the Prince Islands.


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