25-year-old Sibel lives with her father and sister in a secluded village in the mountains of Turkey's Black Sea region. Sibel is a mute, but she communicates by using the ancestral whistled...
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25-year-old Sibel lives with her father and sister in a secluded village in the mountains of Turkey's Black Sea region. Sibel is a mute, but she communicates by using the ancestral whistled language of the area. Rejected by her fellow villagers, she relentlessly hunts down a wolf that is said to be prowling in the neighbouring forest, sparking off fears and fantasies among the village women. There she crosses path with a fugitive. Injured, threatening and vulnerable, he is the first one to take a fresh look at her.
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The story takes place in a particular region of Turkey (eastern region of the Black Sea coast) where locals are popularly known to speak in a distinct, heavily accented dialect of Turkish, yet the characters of the movie, locals of this region, speak Turkish without any accent. See more »
Disastrous Representation of Countryside, including Women
This film reminded me of Mustang, another award-winning movie about the oppression of women and other evils of the Turkish countryside. Although the facts regarding this issue is true, cinematic representation of these facts requires literal artistry and Sibel is a total failure in this case.
Technical details aside (dialogues are badly written, acting of the amateurs are slightly better than terrible, while some villagers have strong rural accent, some others speak perfect Istanbul Turkish etc.), the movie has serious flaws from the beginning to the end. The movie aims to depict the condition of women in Turkish countryside, and problematizes the social mechanisms within. However, these social mechanisms are mainly women-borne, so as to say that "a woman is a wolf to other women."
This is the exact point this movie totally fails. Their "goal" for shooting this movie appears to be singling out their "fellows" in these rural communities (those who have potential to be bourgeois, though stuck in the countryside) and motivate them to fight back. Against whom? Against the oppressive women around them, instead of building a feminist consciousness and solidarity altogether.
Apparently this is all because the directors' strong bourgeois codes do not let them get into (and grasp the essence of) the real rural life, so they had no chance but to represent what they already had on their minds about it.
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