Monday, September 22, 2008

Book | Turkish Cinema Identity, Distance and Belonging by Gönül Dönmez-Colin

Turkish Cinema
Identity, Distance and Belonging by Gönül Dönmez-Colin [1]

'A much needed book, Gönül Dönmez-Colin’s Turkish Cinema offers challenging and innovative perspectives on this rich national film tradition. Thoroughly researched, fluently written and always thought-provoking, Turkish Cinema is an indispensable work for anyone interested in the complex and persistent role of film in defining identities.'
–Alberto Elena, Professor of Film History at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging is the first comprehensive study of the cinema of Turkey to be published in English. A recurring theme in the book is the Turkish quest for a modern identity in a world where borders, attitudes and people themselves are shifting and relocating. Turkey is a society striving to reconcile modern attitudes to morals with traditional values and centuries-old customs and its films reflect these contradictions.

Against this background Gönül Dönmez-Colin evaluates contemporary Turkish filmmakers, as well as the films of those who have left and those who have been exiled from Turkey. Themes of internal and external migration, as well as the voices of the 'denied identities' such as the Kurds are integral to the book. Gender and sexuality, taboo subjects that only the new generation of filmmakers dare to expose are also discussed – homosexuality, lesbianism, honour killings, and incest are some of the ground-breaking points of the author's account.

Written by a film scholar familiar with Turkish language and culture who has undertaken extensive research both in Turkey and its neighbouring countries, this is an indispensable reference for students of cinema and Middle Eastern studies, as well as the general reader interested in this dynamic, rich and thoroughly modern national cinema.

[1] Gönül Dönmez-Colin is a film scholar specializing in the cinemas of the Middle East and Central Asia. Among her recent books are Women, Islam and Cinema (Reaktion Books, 2004), Cinemas of the Other: A Personal Journey with Filmmakers from the Middle East and Central Asia (2006) and The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East (ed.) (2007).

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