«Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams» documentary by Angelos Abazoglou


«Mustafa’s Sweet Dreams»
2012, Greece / UK, 80′, Angelos Abazoglou

World Premiere – Berlinale 2012, 14th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2012, Official Selection – SXSW 2012, Junior Competition – Stochkolm Film Festival 2012, Planete Doc 2012


The small Turkish town of Gaziantep. 16-year-old Mustafa is one of many young boys who study the complex art of making baklava, the Turkish desert renowned across the world. Under the strict eye of the master Baklava makers, Mustafa’s life is one of hard work and dedication to his chosen craft. But Mustafa dreams of  a life beyond the confines of the workshop. He still wants to be a baklava master: he just wants to do it on his terms. Soon, against the advice of his friends and family, Mustafa makes a move towards the big city. Will his dreams be realised or will they crumble before him?
A film about the impetuousness of youth and the importance of reaching for the stars, Angelos Abazoglou’s innnovative documentary is a moving and joyful coming-of-age tale which will speak to anyone who has ever wanted to fullfill their dreams.

Director’s Statement

I went through a dual education during my childhood. One was at school in France where I grew up, while the other mirrored a master and disciple relationship.

My father, a learned man of Ottoman origin, got married for the first time in his late fifties and had set his mind to impart to his son all his knowledge. All school year long, without exception, we would wake up at five in the morning and before my taking the school-bus at seven, I would spend two hours with him when he opened for me the doors of science, arts, beauty and the practical world. I could have complained and refuse to come out of bed so soon, but I did not, God knows why. Today, I remember with pleasure this particular moment when, still lost in my dreams, my father would shape me. I intuitively knew that his explanations would allow me one day to become autonomous.

I was fifteen years old when my father passed away and with him all this philosophy of life.

Two years ago I went eastward, to Turkey, where my father was born. I arrived in Gaziantep, the “Capital of baklava”. The multitude of pastry shops where people eat sweets all day long reminded me of my childhood made of jelly, marmalade, sherbets, candied fruit, almond paste, milk creams, halvahs and baklavas. 1 went to look behind the scenes of these pastry shops. And there I found masters and 1 found apprentices. Very young teenage boy apprentices, no girls, were working under the strict supervision of a master, They were learning the traditional craft of baklava making.
The workshops were pure magic. My imagination ignited. I was led in a childhood’s garden where the moon and the sun, the darkness and the light have in turn lavished their care to deliver me from any concern.

I stayed in one of these workshops for quite a long time. Long enough to make friends, to understand and feel their particular world. There I found the characters of my film, especially, Mustafa, a sixteen years old apprentice who became the protagonist of my film. He was more rebellious than the others and was obsessed by his dream to become the greatest baklava master of Turkey, His uncle, Basri, one of the owners of this workshop, was raising and tutoring him. Their relation was delightful. A full master and disciple relation where the former would be nothing without the latter and the latter would not exist without the former.

I filmed In Gaziantep at the workshop, at their home, in the town for a month. I filmed Mustafa with his uncle but also with his friends and what was pointing out, and that I had almost forgotten, is that freedom for a teenager is the most precious thing in life.

Mustafa wanted to spread his wings and fly away. Mustafa wanted his dream to become reality, Istanbul is a big city full of opportunities, Mustafa hoped to achieve his goal there.
But reality at times twists dreams and reveals others. And documentaries are magical because of that. They know how to find their source in reality, which is a master in offering, as it did for Mustafa, unexpected worlds.

Angelos Abazoglou
Born in Maroussi, Athens on 15.01.66.
He began as an actor at the Théâtre de l’Acte of Toulouse-Grenier in Toulouse.
Theatre and Film direction studies at the I.N.S.A.S, Brussels.
He directed theatre plays and documentaries.