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Scathingly critical of the reality of marriage in Turkey’s patriarchal society, Mean Partner is a black comedy inspired by a real incident that happened in 1978. The opening sequence builds tension through the use of slow motion and cross-cuts, ominously omitting the sound from a scene of women gathered to prepare for a village wedding. Then disaster strikes; a gigantic gas explosion kills nearly all the village women, who had been cooking for the wedding feast. A German TV broadcast about the “village of widowers” prompts a German woman to propose marriage to the bereaved groom. Thus, the bride-to-be and the TV crew arrive at the village for a most unusual wedding where the only villager who sees the situation clearly is an insane woman who had been absent for the first fatal wedding.
The film’s director, Bilge Olgaç said, “Women’s eyes notice the details. Maybe it’s because of their instinct for motherhood, but they know how to produce something new. I believe women are more progressive, in other words, women can move deeper in life while men generally stay on surface.” Through the portrayal of men suddenly forced to live in a woman-less society, Mean Partner investigates the male attitude that women are sources of sex and labor that can be bought and sold through the institution of marriage.