The Representation of Female Characters by Women Directors in Surveillance Spaces in Turkish Cinema
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The Representation of Female Characters by Women Directors in Surveillance Spaces in Turkish Cinema

Authors: Berceste Gülçin Özdemir


The representation of women characters in cinema has been discussed for centuries. In cinema where dominant narrative codes prevail and scopophilic views exist over women characters, passive stereotypes of women are observed in the representation of women characters. In films shot from a woman’s point of view in Turkish Cinema and even in the films outside the main stream in which the stories of women characters are told, the fact that women characters are discussed on the basis of feminist film theories triggers the question: ‘Are feminist films produced in Turkish Cinema?’ The spaces that are used in the representation of women characters are observed to be used as spaces that convert characters into passive subjects on the basis of the space factor in the narrative. The representation of women characters in the possible surveillance spaces integrates the characters and compresses them in these spaces. In this study, narrative analysis was used to investigate women characters representation in the surveillance spaces. For the study framework, firstly a case study films are selected, and in the second level, women characters representations in surveillance spaces are argued by narrative analysis using feminist film theories. Two questions are argued with feminist film theories: ‘Why do especially women directors represent their female characters to viewers by representing them in surveillance spaces?’ and ‘Can this type of presentation contribute to the feminist film practice and become important with regard to feminist film theories?’ The representation of women characters in a passive and observed way in surveillance spaces of the narrative reveals the questioning of also the discourses of films outside of the main stream. As films that produce alternative discourses and reveal different cinematic languages, those outside the main stream are expected to bring other points of view also to the representation of women characters in spaces. These questionings are selected as the baseline and Turkish films such as Watch Tower and Mustang, directed by women, were examined. This examination paves the way for discussions regarding the women characters in surveillance spaces. Outcomes can be argued from the viewpoint of representation in the genre by feminist film theories. In the context of feminist film theories and feminist film practice, alternatives should be found that can corporally reveal the existence of women in both the representation of women characters in spaces and in the usage of the space factor.

Keywords: Feminist film theory, representation, space, women filmmaker, women characters.

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