Chora Director: Suha Arin
Assistant Director: Hasan Ozgen
Director of Photography: Savas Guvezne
Editor: Mehmet Gursan
Music by: Burhan Ocal
Narrator: Sureyya Arin
Duration: 27 min.
Format: 16 mm Film
Production Year: 1984

This documentary explores Istanbul’s 700 year-old monument of art, the Chora, concentrating on the artistic rather than the spiritual aspects of the colourful paintings which decorate its galleries.

The mosaics which decorate the walls of the Chora are considered to be the most distinguished and important in the history of mosaic, while the frescoes are regarded by some art historians as "the first glimmer of the Renaissance”".

Originally built as a monastery in the 7th century, it did not achieve its current significance until the 14th century when it came under the artistic influence of the poet, scholar and statesman, Metokhites.

The Chora, "woven with the delicacy of a silk carpet" and presented to mankind by Metokhites and his artists, was renamed "Kariye" and converted into a mosque following the Turkish conquest of Istanbul. After being used as a mosque for over 400 years, it was finally turned into a museum with the coming of the Republic.

Kariye is a masterpiece of art and creativity which is visited by tens of thousands of tourists from every nation and religion each year. This documentary seeks to reveal the traces left behind by all those cultures and artists who have worked and worshipped within and around this extraordinary building for over 700 years.
Whether it has been inspired by Byzantine hymns or Orthodox prayers, by the call to prayer or Ottoman formulas of faith, this film presents the continuity and universality of human creativity.

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