Pelin Esmer’s first feature The Play is going to be screened in Toronto as part of TIFF’s retrospective on New Turkish Cinema by women.
“Esmer’s first feature, The Play, is a good example of that rebel spirit. A freewheeling portrait of nine women who work in the fields of their mountain village in southern Turkey, the film follows the women as they prepare to put on a play that dramatizes their lives. Spearheaded by a women’s rights group and directed by a playwright who, like Esmer, hopes to workshop some of the charged but unspoken issues in everyday Turkish life, the play allows the women to articulate social problems for which they otherwise lack the words. The result is something like a salon, where the women are enabled to assert themselves and assume new identities in the process. One even boldly finds inspiration for her male character in her own austere upbringing as a girl made to do traditionally male work.”