7.8/10
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The Play (2005)

Oyun (original title)
When nine peasant women from a mountain village in southern Turkey decide to write and perform a play based on their life stories, aspects of their personalities emerge that they never knew existed. Esmer's documentary observes the creative stages leading up to the production of the play, and shows us how nine subtly but significantly different women emerge after its staging.

Director:

Pelin Esmer

Writer:

Pelin Esmer
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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Storyline

When nine peasant women from a mountain village in southern Turkey decide to write and perform a play based on their life stories, aspects of their personalities emerge that they never knew existed. Esmer's documentary observes the creative stages leading up to the production of the play, and shows us how nine subtly but significantly different women emerge after its staging.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Turkey

Language:

Turkish

Release Date:

10 March 2006 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

I parastasi See more »

Filming Locations:

Arslankoy, Turkey

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,486
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
A strange "documentary"
20 December 2005 | by JuguAbrahamSee all my reviews

This is a debut feature length documentary by 33-year-old Pelin Esmer, a Turkish student of sociology that was shown at the recently concluded Dubai International Film Festival. Pelin captures the dream and persistence of a group of village women in the Taurus mountains who stage and act in play as a symbol of expressing their creative urges to communicate to the larger village community. It is a woman's film about women. It captures faithfully the reactions of the male community and the anxieties of the women who act both the male and female roles that portray realistic situations they have endured in the past.

This is not a unique experiment. A brilliant French woman director Ariane Mnouchkine did a similar experiment way back in 1974 for a fascinating documentary called "1789." For Ariane, too, it was a debut. Only Ariane's product was far superior.

Why do I find Pelin's documentary strange? For a purist, the documentary camera ought to capture candid material. While Pelin's film captures the mood and the aspirations of the village women, I cannot but feel that I am watching a staged enactment off-stage where the women have been coached to say what they say. The documentation lacks the feel of an impromptu reaction. The whole film seems to have been planned meticulously and then recorded. Finally, it is not the women who write the script, but a male educationist who puts the play together. The director of the play is never identified--only the lead motivator is.

While Pelin has made a film that is interesting, I would be cautious about deciding how much of the document is candid and how much is staged.


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