The Young and the Restless' head writer, Sally Sussman, is a pro at bringing fictional drama into the living rooms of soap fans on a daily basis. But when a thought-provoking, real-world story fell into her lap years ago, she couldn't help but try her hand in the documentary world -- and her resulting film, called Midnight Return, is something truly special.
The documentary, currently available for streaming on Sundance Now, explores the everlasting impact of the explosive, Oscar-winning 1978 movie Midnight Express, which told the true story of Billy Hayes, who escaped a Turkish prison after being arrested for smuggling hash. Midnight Return follows Hayes as he returns to Turkey many years later, and it seeks to reveal the impact cinema can have on the history, popular opinion, tourism, and other factors of a country. After all, Turkey saw a dip in tourism after the release of the film, and foreigners' impressions of the country have seemingly never recovered.
"I first saw Midnight Express as a college student, and it stayed with me ever since. Years later when I met Billy Hayes, I realized there was so much more to the story than what was shown on-screen," Sussman says of the inspiration behind her film about film. "It wasn't until I got involved in making this documentary that I learned the real impact of Midnight Express was still being felt worldwide, especially in Turkey, where Billy Hayes had become the most hated man in the country."
Sundance Now members are able to stream both Midnight Return and Midnight Express via the web, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, and Chromecast. To stream, visit SundanceNow.com and sign up for a seven-day free trial.
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