Steam: The Turkish Bath

Francesco (handsome Alessandro Gassman), an Italian yuppie with the kind of tastefully appointed life favored by interior-design magazines, unexpectedly finds bliss when he inherits a Turkish steambath from an aunt he never knew. He leaves his chic wife in Rome while he zips over to Istanbul to sell the thing, only to fall in love with the whole gestalt: bathhouse, late aunt’s adopted family, piquant food, multigenerational family warmth, Istanbul itself. Director-cowriter Ferzan Ozpetek expresses his fondness for the subject with loving cinematic attention to small details of everyday life. And while the story turns melodramatic (with sexual intrigue, female histrionics, a surprising death), his pride in his culture keeps Steam out of hot water. B

Steam: The Turkish Bath
  • Movie