A Female Touch By Ivan Karl

in 8th Ankara Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival

by Ivan Karl

The struggle for equality of the sexes is still ongoing on the big screen. How much do women yesterday, today and tomorrow contribute to the development of the seventh art, and how can their voice be heard through motion pictures? This question is asked over and over again by Flying Broom Festival. The answer is within the movies. The audience is left to comprehend and the critics to value.

Flying Broom (witches are still in Eastwick) is traditionally held in the beginning of May in Ankara. This film festival with an unusual name represents one of undergrowths of a national organization which connects all local and regional female associations, all with one unique goal to promote and improve the position of women in the country and abroad. The festival’s concept is the hardest one to prepare since contemporary female artists are lacking, and therefore it takes time, patience and effort to find and mingle different female sensibilities in front and behind the camera.

The center of this organization is in Ankara, the administrative capital of Turkey, which today is a modern city with traces of oriental past and a hunch of a wishful European future.

Ankara is most definitely the prettiest and most gracious festival of all the three film events happening in this city. However, this is a remark of the privilege I had as the only man among successful, creative and charming woman from all parts of the world. A pleasure which rarely happens.

The main program offered us twelve effective and honest stories. The program director, Aysegul Oquz, has provided an adequate sight into the work of the new and middle-aged generation of female directors (mostly born after 1960) from which a significant number are also the names behind the scripts as well as being the main performers. Movies from Iran, Italy, France (the most represented country), Pakistan, and Germany reflect different surroundings, political, social, religious, in family problems present in everyday life

It’s a fact that these movies are explicitly feminist, but not in an attempt to assault and judge the viewer, but to look over, analyze and, if possible, give an answer.

Lead with that logic, the FIPRESCI jury has decided to award the film To Take a Wife (Ve’Lakhta Lehe Isha) , by Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetiz, in which that highly complex relationship between two genders is treated reasonably and truthfully without sociological cliché.

Overall, ten days, two movie theaters, ninety-four movies, ninety-four female authors. Feast for the eyes, inspiration for the mind. Flying Broom is not the largest and most popular but is certainly the most charming and most dedicated film event in Turkey.