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Zenne Dancer (2012)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,521 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

A feature film about an unusual trio: Daniel, a German photo-journalist in Istanbul without much knowledge about Turkish values. Can, a flamboyant, out and proud male belly dancer with lots... See full summary »

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(as M. Caner Alper) ,

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Can
Giovanni Arvaneh ...
Daniel Bert
...
Ahmet
Tilbe Saran ...
Sevgi
Rüçhan Caliskur ...
Kezban
Ünal Silver ...
Yilmaz
...
Sukran
Tolga Tekin ...
Cihan
Esme Madra ...
Hatice
Hülya Duyar ...
Mujgan
Mehmet Bozdogan ...
Kerem
Aykut Kayacik ...
Zindan
Yvonne Rosenbaum ...
Emmanuella
Bulut Reyhan ...
Cavit
Ihsan Goren ...
Military Jury #1
Edit

Storyline

A feature film about an unusual trio: Daniel, a German photo-journalist in Istanbul without much knowledge about Turkish values. Can, a flamboyant, out and proud male belly dancer with lots of love and support from his family, and Ahmet born to an eastern and conservative family whose quest for honesty and liberty results in a tragic end. ZENNE Dancer is inspired by true stories. Written by M.Caner Alper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

13 January 2012 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Trbušni plesač  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

€1,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Daniel Bert: Why can't you be honest and tell the truth to your parents? Honesty is the easiest.
Ahmet: [crying] You don't understand. Honesty will kill me.
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User Reviews

 
A brilliant film which connects art house cinema and gay characters to mainstream...
27 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had the opportunity of seeing the film during the film festival in Antalya which is equivalent of Turkish Oscars and liked it a lot.

Not only me but an audience of almost 1200 people stood up and were applauding during the entire ending, in tears, which was even more shocking to see in a film festival... The applause was not only for a brilliant movie of course but mostly to a long term-suffered in silence-society who had to say to the Turkish Military 'ENOUGH'! All Turkish men are required to perform military service. But gay men can be exempted from conscript duty provided they first prove their homosexuality.

"Zenne" depicts the degrading process its main characters endure at an army recruiting center.

In the film, military doctors perform anal examinations and hurl homophobic insults at conscripts. They also demand photos of the characters having sex with other men.

Gay rights activists say the military has long demanded graphic photo and/or video evidence from men asking to be released from military duty.

Zenne Dancer moved Turkish media and about a 100,000 watchers from homophobia to a moving apology.

As a groundbreaking film launched, Turkish attitudes to gay and trans-gender people have slowly started improving – in the media at least Zenne Dancer, finally hit the screens, nationwide cinemas, after winning five major awards at the country's foremost film festival, and receiving a shower of attention from the mass media – a shower that unfortunately quickly turned cold.

In daily parlance the word ZENNE refers to a man who dresses up like a woman and dances in front of an audience, a custom that goes way back to early Ottoman empire. The film itself is inspired by a true story, that of Ahmet Yildiz, a student who was gunned down by his own father for being openly and unrepentantly homosexual. His was not the first hate crime in Turkey, nor the first gay Honor killing, but probably the first to draw such widespread attention. The film and the subsequent media coverage played an important role in increasing awareness about the hardships trans-gender and gay communities endure in Turkey's patriarchal society.

I suggest to everyone to sit and enjoy how a modern and secular country like Turkey's LGBT people live and try to exist in life with breath taking cinematography and acting. ERKAN AVCI and TILBE SARAN are incredible with KEREM CAN like a Greek Statue, as a portrait of a flamboyant traditional dancer.


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