Kutlug Ataman – Iki Genç Kiz AKA Two Girls (2005)

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The film is about two teenage girls, Behiye and Handan, with contrasting characteristics and backgrounds, forming a close relationship with sexual implications. As they become closer and closer the relationship becomes more fragile, and the impossibility of the survival of their relationship becomes more evident over time. Economic, social, psychological, and sexual problems come in the way. Behiye is angry and rebellious, but her frequent outbursts cut little ice with her conservative family. Handan is trapped in a different way, in a love-hate relationship with her single mother Leman. Although Leman is willing to turn tricks to raise Handan’s college fees, she’s otherwise hopeless with both men and money. When a mutual friend introduces Behiye and Handan they immediately hit it off, and despite the differences in their backgrounds they embark on an intense relationship, and with it a secret plan to escape their dysfunctional families. Continue reading

Kutlug Ataman – Ruhuma asla AKA Never My Soul (2001)

“Never my soul” is a phrase taken from the cliche sentence the good-Turkish-girl character says to her rapist in many old Turkish movies – “You can have my body but never my soul!”.

The film has at its centre a transsexual who is pretending to be Türkan Şoray, the real-life super diva of the Turkish Cinema. The transsexual’s true life is similar to the melodramatic plot of a Türkan Şoray movie. She was born a boy, beaten up by her military father throughout her childhood for exhibiting “effeminate” behaviour, taken to psychiatrists at the age of thirteen to cure her of her sexual “deviance,” and later beaten and tortured by a notorious Istanbul police chief. Now living in Lausanne, her kidneys have failed and she is on dialysis. She has to make her living through prostitution. Continue reading

Kutlug Ataman – Aya Seyahat (2009)

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1957. A remote village in Erzincan province, Eastern Turkey. The quest of four villagers to travel to the moon is documented with the use of found black-and-white photos and the aid of a local narrator. A wide range of established Turkish intellectuals offer their views of the events that took place in 1957. The resulting film curiously becomes an in-depth study of contemporary Turkish culture, rather than an historical documentary. Continue reading