Lots of Turkey!

I may be in Turkish overload at present. The two assignments I am spending a lot of time with at the moment are both centred around Turkey and Turkish culture. 

My Final Project is about a half-English, half-Turkish girl who is trying to make herself belong through belly dancing. 

My dissertation is all about the identity of Turkish Cinema and where it is headed. 

Final Project

So here is a slight revision of the original synopsis. A few things have been simplified and explained after pitching it to a couple of people. 

I've lost the panic attacks, the emphasis on the strained relationship with her father and her mother dies later in Asli's life, giving her more of a connection with her Turkish side.

Synopsis

Asli is a 16 year old girl whose Turkish mother died 7 years ago leaving her alone with her father, who she thinks doesn't understand her and little or no contact with her Turkish heritage.
Asli is going out with a young Turkish boy, Murat, whose family wants nothing to do with her because she is not fully Turkish and are constantly putting pressure on Murat to give her up. After seeing a group of Turkish girls dancing at a party for the first time, Asli decides that she can prove she is just a bit more Turkish than English by learning to dance as well as they can. She will prove she is "51%." 

While Murat slackens off seeing her, she teaches herself to dance and eventually performs at a party where Murat and his family will be in the hope that Murat's family will accept her. Although everyone accepts she can dance as well as or even better than a Turk, Murat's family still don't want her involved with their son. Asli then discovers that they have betrothed Murat to a Turkish girl in Turkey, which means he is as good as married. Despite being heartbroken, Asli has found peace with her identity and sense of belonging through her dance. 

Films That Deal With Interracial Romance

The Joy Luck Club

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

To Do List

  • Finish the script! (*Getting there!)

  • Casting! (*no luck yet)
Dissertation

I have been analysing a few films for this essay, which I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying. After having lived in Turkey for many many years, I am amazed at how much I am learning about the politics and history that I did not know before. It has given me a huge insight into why some things are the way they are and why I have experienced certain reactions to seemingly harmless actions, such as listening to a certain style of music. Everything has hidden connotations. 
One of the films I have been analysing is "Dedemin İnsanları" (My Grandfather's People) directed by Çağan Irmak. It is a truly beautiful film, easy to watch and deals with the subject of nationality, belonging and prejudice in a very warm, friendly way. 
A more difficult watch is "Lal Gecesi" (Night of Silence), which centres around the wedding night of a 13 year old girl to a 60 year old man, forced to marry each other by two feuding families as an offering of peace. The girl, afraid of what is going to happen, tries to appease her new husband as he wrestles with the pressure of tradition and his own sense of how wrong the situation is. Apart from it being painfully slow, the subject is painful to watch. No action is ever taken yet the audience is constantly waiting and dreading the fate of this fragile, child bride.