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|Turkish Cinema Panorama: Living as a Woman in Islamic Culture (7)||Focus on Věra Chytilová (6)|
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Despite being the winner of a number of Turkish awards, Hejar was once banned by the Turkish government because of its “offensive representation of the police.”Hejar trails the unexpected encounter between an orphan, named Hejar, and a retired judge, Rifat. Hejar becomes the only survivor in her family when the armed police raid the Kurdish guerilla’s fort. Rifat is a stubborn, conservative, widowed and retired judge who keeps to himself. The paths of these two unlikely characters cross when Rifat, who lives next door, takes in the young Hejar. The communication between the two characters seems near impossible as the stubborn Hejar only speaks Kurdish. The story is set in the aftermath of Turkey’s 15-year civil war in which 4,000 villages were burned down and freedom could not be found. However, the irreconcilable differences between the characters slowly dissolves into affection. They gradually develop a rapport that resembles a family-type of relationship that was once lost.
As violence and blood in Turkey is increasingly shown on television, estrangement and death dominate the reality. Nevertheless, this film quietly emphasizes the possibility of tolerance, which ultimately can lead to a type of “societal healing” for those who are deeply hurt by the tragedies of war. (Joo You-shin)
Handan IpekçiHandan Ipekçi
Born 1956 in Ankara, she studied Broadcasting at Gazi University. Ipekçi had her first experience with directing in 1993, when she made the documentary Song of the Kemence scripted by the poet Yasar Mirac. The following year in 1994, she shot her first feature My Father’s in the Military, which examined the 1980 military coup from the perspective of children. With her choice of subject matter, the actors she works with and the style she has developed, she has always created her own breed of cinema, free of commercial concerns.