Cross-Class Romance Preaching the Value of Togetherness
It's the early Sixties, and Istanbul is abuzz with new projects, widened roads, foreign investment and an apparently insatiable desire to remake itself in a western image. Constructors greedily eye potential development sites in the less salubrious areas, where they can sweep away the back-to-back terraces with their bulldozers and build expensive tower-blocks instead.
Such is the basic scenario of SOKAK KIZK (STREET GIRL), where pampered constructor's son Fikret (Fikret Hakan) spends most of his days doing work for his father while receiving a fat allowance in return. Nothing bothers him about his life; he exists to serve his father and thereby perpetuate the family business.
Things take an unexpected turn, however, when he encounters a street girl (Fatma Girik) from the wrong side of the social tracks. Blacked up to avoid arrest - for stealing a chicken - she offers a vision of liberation and loyalty quite different from what he has previously known. He assumes the identity of a manual worker, and the romance between the two of them blossoms.
This Pygmalionesque scenario in reverse is a familiar one, but it enables director Osman F. Seden to make some social points about the way traditional values of community, male bonding and family need to be sustained in a changing world. Girik might be modest in terms of aspiration, but she has a heart much broaden than any of Hakan's social circle. Her male peers are both supportive yet pragmatic; they know when to intervene to protect her, and when they can make fun of her masculinist pretensions.
In truth the film as a whole is a little talky, with too much time spent on a Much Ado About Nothing series of verbal by-plays between the two main characters. Nonetheless SOKAK KIZI has much to recommend it as a social document as well as an observation on prevailing gender relationships at that time.
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