She-J

Documentary and Short Film Competition

WOMEN IN SOCIETY: DOCUMENTARIES

-- In Competition -

SHE-J

(She-J: Madalyonun Obur Yuzu)

Sunday, December 7, 2008, 1:00 p.m.
GSU Auditorium, 2nd Floor, Boston University
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
Directions

Documentary / 2007 / 63 min. / Turkey
In English, Dutch and Turkish with English subtitles
Written and directed by Elvan Kivilcim

Synopsis

One from the West, the other from the East… Yet, both are women, DJs and mothers to 11-year old sons.

She-J is about two alter-egos, DJ Beyza from Turkey and DJ Dame from Holland, as well as it is about Turkey with its young urban face and its confrontation with Europe.

As the first female DJ of Turkey, Beyza says playing electronic music in Turkey is like trying to sell pork in a Muslim neighborhood. She travels from one city to another performing in different parts of Turkey and has hardly any time to see her son, Dunya.

DJ Dame (Natasja van der Horst), on the other hand, seems to possess all that Beyza yearns for: a steady life partner who accepts her lifestyle and a more structured family life, as well as better professional economic resources. Yet everything is not necessarily as satisfying as it may seem from a distance.

Director's Statement

“As a woman who chose to follow her passion, I always have a certain interest in telling the stories of other women who follow their passions despite many odds. That is why when I met Beyza, upon moving back to Turkey after living for some years abroad, I was immediately fascinated by her: A woman, a mother and a DJ in a country where it is still very much a men’s world in all fields! Yet she had such confidence, strength and a boundless energy… In a way, she reminded me of this new Turkey at the doors of EU.

Soon afterwards, I met Natasja: a Dutch woman DJ who was also a mother to an 11-year old son. Their similarity was almost uncanny. However, Natasja’s life and her personality seemed to be different in every other respect: her quiet strength and willpower fascinated me as much as Beyza’s energy did.

Yet I also knew that appearances can be misleading, that neither in Turkey nor in the Netherlands, neither in Beyza’s nor in Natasja’s life, nothing might be what it seems. Having been married to a Dutchman for a few years (a marriage which ended upon my decision to return to Turkey) I had a basic understanding of Dutch culture and language, which helped me to better understand Natasja’s life. So, I decided to find out more about the lives of these amazing women, who in a way reflected the two faces of my very own split personality between Turkey and Europe.”

ELVAN KIVILCIM

Elvan KivilcimElvan Kivilcim worked for network television in Turkey as post-production editor and production assistant. Later, she completed her higher education in cultural and media studies at the University of Warwick, UK and undertook academic research at the University of Osnabrück, Germany, where she also taught courses on culture, media and cinema. Back in Turkey, she worked with various international networks, i.e. Arte, Deutschewelle, Aljazeera English as producer of news features and documentaries and produces/directs her own independent documentary films. Currently, she is the senior producer and bureau chief of Aljazeera English television in Istanbul. She is a member of the independent filmmakers’ collective, Filmist (www.filmist.org) and the Association of Documentary Filmmakers in Turkey (www.bsb.org.tr) . She-J is her first independent documentary project.