My Name is Mutlu, My Name is Resistance

in Flying Broom International Women's Film Festival

by Necla Algan

One of the competition films at the 27th International Flying Broom Women’s Film Festival, My Name is Mutlu (Mutlu means ‘happy’ in Turkish) is a heartrending documentary about a young woman living in Diyarbakır.

The tragic events experienced by Mutlu and her family are a heart-wrenching example of the violence against women and femicides that occur in Turkey as well as around the world.

According to statistics, Turkey ranks strikingly high in terms of violence against women. However, the statistics on femicides do not show such a remarkable numerical difference compared to global averages.

As Turkey is rapidly integrating with global trends due to the swift development of communication tools and socioeconomic advancements, women are increasingly participating in social, economic, and cultural production everywhere. Women are making significant strides in production and individual development.

Mutlu is a radiant young woman with her beauty, strong musical talent, and angelic personality. She participates in a well-known televised singing competition and becomes a finalist.

However, the visibility and recognition bring disaster: she is shot by a man who becomes obsessively attached to her. Her life thereafter involves a wheelchair, as she endures severe hardship.

Despite this, with the support of her family, especially her brothers and sisters, Mutlu doesn’t give up, and continues her struggle for life. She creates a world of communication with 1.5 million followers on TikTok, based on love, sharing, and goodwill, trying to continue with music despite her severe injuries. Because Mutlu carries in her heart everything that stands for humanity, love, sharing, and kindness.

Unfortunately, the family’s tragedy does not end there. Mutlu’s sister Dilek is also shot and killed by a man. Following this, Mutlu and her other sister start a long legal battle alongside feminist activists.

According to Turkish laws, femicides are not adequately punished. As a result of the challenging struggles of Mutlu and other activists, the court sentences the murderer to the heaviest possible punishment: life imprisonment.

Mutlu and her family’s story is a tragedy but also a rebellion of women against becoming victims of male dominance and its most horrific forms—violence and murder—as they strive to exist freely and develop and exhibit their talents independently.

The film received a strong ovation from the audience after its screening in Ankara. It is a story that, while resulting in very painful consequences, also spoke of love, solidarity, struggle, and resistance in a very subtle way.


Necla Algan
Edited by Robert Horton