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Harem Suare (1999)

As the Ottoman Empire comes to an end, an old servant spins a tale to keep the women in the Sultan's harem distracted. The story is about Safiye, who first becomes the Sultan's favorite ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Safiye
...
Nadir
...
Old Safiye
...
Anita
...
Midhat
Christophe Aquillon ...
Sumbul
Serra Yilmaz ...
Gulfidan
...
Abdulhamit
Pelin Batu ...
Cerkez Cariye
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ayla Algan ...
Valide
Nilüfer Açikalin ...
Selma
Meriç Benlioglu
Cansel Elcin ...
Journaliste
Basak Köklükaya ...
Gulbahar
Gaia Narcisi ...
Aliye
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Storyline

As the Ottoman Empire comes to an end, an old servant spins a tale to keep the women in the Sultan's harem distracted. The story is about Safiye, who first becomes the Sultan's favorite concubine, and later the official wife. As she gains power and influence, she engages in a tryst with Nadir, the black eunuch. When the Empire falls, the Sultan escapes to Europe, leaving all the concubines behind. Safiye fights for their rights under the new order... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

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Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

21 May 1999 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Harem suare  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

A "documentary of the soul" through a game of mirros, two-faced personalities, creating a cross-cultural confrontation on myth, sexuality, and language
26 September 1999 | by (Istanbul, Turkey) – See all my reviews

Harem Suare, tells the tale of the impossible love between the Sultan's prefered girl and one of the eunuch's (castrated harem servant) from the Harem of the previous Ottoman Empire. With his Occidental eye, Ferzan Ozpetek once again describes a mysterious place (as in "Hamam"), offering a "documentary of the soul" through a game of mirros, two-faced personalities, creating a cross-cultural confrontation on myth, sexuality, and language. Set in Istanbul in 1904, just before the fall of the Ottoman Empire and with revolution already at the door of the Yildiz Palace, it's the story of Safiye played by Marie Gillain(Mon Pere Ces Hero), an Italian girl who was bought by a pasha in the slave market at Cairo and given to Sultan Abdulhamit as a present. There, with the help of the black eunuch Nadir (Alex Descas), she rises quickly in the harem to become Abdulhamit's favourite. The Sultan likes to listen to Verdi's La Traviata, but can't stand the unhappy ending - so he asks Safiye to rewrite the libretto for him... Regarding The Last Harem the director offers these comments: "With a Westerner's eye I'm trying to unravel one of the most crucial knots of my original culture: the end of the Ottoman Empire, portrayed in one of the places dearest to the imagination - the harem:" Ferzan Özpetek became a film-maker after working as an assistant to Ricky Tognazzi and other Italian directors. His two features (Hamam, Harem Suare) to date seek to bridge the Western and Oriental cultures.


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