© Mitosfilm

Zwei Mädchen aus Istanbul (Iki genç kiz)
Turkey 2005

Opening 28 Sep 2006

Directed by: E. Kutlug Ataman
Writing credits: E. Kutlug Ataman, Perihan Magden
Principal actors: Hülya Avsar, Vildan Atasever, Feride Cetin

In his third film, Turkish director Kutlug Ataman portrays two girls living in Istanbul. One, Behiye, is expected to follow her mother’s example as long-suffering and silent servant to the men in the family. She rebels by applying to attend university and dying her hair bright red, as well as shouting at her brother and stealing his money. Handan is a blond sweetie-pie, an angel, with an extravagant and generous single mother, Leman. Behiye and Handan become friends. Behiye leaves home to hide out at Handan’s house; they go out with boys; they make plans to immigrate to a new country. Sometimes the high drama between them has no obvious purpose excerpt to portray exuberance and I thought, “Where is this film going?” In the end, it’s clear who is the stronger of the two. Rounding out this film about women is Behiye’s friend Cigdem who covers for her and Leman, (Hülya Avsar, the only actor my Turkish green grocer recognized in the press notes) who is comforted by her own girl friend when Mr. Rich Boy Friend exchanges her for a younger model. Based on a best seller by Perihan Magdens, the characters could be transported into other cultures, e.g., the U.S. where one girl would grow up in a fundamentalist Christian household and the other would be the daughter of Judy Garland. Thus you have a universal film as well as the opportunity to meet interesting new actors and see Istanbul. My advice to all women: live in a place where the front door has a peep-hole for easy monitoring. (Becky Tan)

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