From my TIFF 2003 reviews:
DISTANT is a slice of life film: nothing much happens except the day-to-day, but that's okay because it's well observed and photographed with a real eye for finding the beauty wherever one is.
Mahmut is a successful photographer who lives alone in Istanbul. Yusuf, a cousin from a small mountain town arrives at Mahmut's, hoping to crash there while he looks for a job on a ship. The two accommodate each other at first, but relations strain with time. There are complications along the way, many of which provide moments of levity to punctuate the overall seriousness of the story. More than anything the film stresses the irony of the loneliness and disconnectedness people can feel in cities that just burst with numbers.
DISTANT is the movie as meditation. It's different and satisfying.