Is ‘The Life and Movies of Ersan Kuneri’ on Netflix Based on a True Story?

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Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan of Turkish comedy, Netflix’s latest addition may make you change your mind. Set in the 1980s, The Life and Movies of Ersan Kuneri follows an adult film director after his release from prison. Though everyone is ready for him to get back on that XXX horse, Ersan has a different plan for his life. He wants to throw the world of money shots aside and make a historical drama.

It’s a show that’s as ridiculous as its premise. And even though this is largely a work of fiction, it’s hiding some truth.

Is The Life and Movies of Ersan Kuneri Based on a True Story?

No, Ersan Kuneri is not based on a real person. But this isn’t the first time this character has been brought to the screen. The Life and Movies of Ersan Kuneri is written by Cem Yilmaz, who also stars as Ersan. The first time the comedic actor portrayed this character was in the 2004 Turkish comedy G.O.R.A. 

The science fiction comedy was directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak and stars Yilmaz as a carpet salesman who has been abducted by aliens. In that movie, Kuneri briefly appears in a scene with Rasim Öztekin’s Bob Marley Faruk before he’s arrested. Funnily enough, Netflix’s comedy begins with Ersan being released from prison. G.O.R.A. was one of the highest grossing Turkish movies of 2004 and spawned two sequels: 2008’s A.R.O.G. and 2018’s Arif V 216.

Are There Any Adult Film Directors Who Have Gone Mainstream?

Ersan Kuneri may be a character who came from Cem Yilmaz’s imagination, but his journey from pornos to blockbuster hits isn’t that crazy. Over the years, there have been several mainstream directors who have dabbled in adult film. In Inside Deep Throat, horror legend Wes Craven revealed that he made “many hardcore X-rated films” under various pseudonyms. One of those was The Fireworks Woman, which premiered three years after Craven’s feature debut, The Last House on the Left.

Craven isn’t alone. Before he became known for Ms. 45 and  Bad Lieutenant, Abel Ferrara’s directorial debut was the porn flick 9 Lives of a Wet Pussycat. Dubbed “the greatest female exploitation film director in history”, A Night to Dismember and Let Me Die a Woman’s Doris Wishman directed several adult films, including on titled Satan Was a Lady. Before directing Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Danny Steinmann made his debut directing the hardcore High Rise. So even though Ersan’s story is a work of fiction, there are several real directors who have crossed both sides of this forbidden line.



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