Clair obscur is a film about the unlikely encounter of two women otherwise separated by class, education, and location. Elmas has little formal education and lives in a provincial town with her husband and mother-in-law. Şehnaz is a highly educated urbanite living with her boyfriend in Istanbul and commuting to a provincial hospital to complete her mandatory medical residency as a psychiatrist. Their lives unexpectedly intersect at the hospital when Elmas is placed under Şehnaz’s care as a catatonic patient and criminal suspect. Elmas’s husband and mother-in-law died under vague circumstances on the same stormy night. The prominent film writer and director Yeşim Ustaoğlu uses this encounter to stage a panorama of femininities in Turkey. In times of reactionary gender conservatism and violent quests for masculinist restoration, Clair obscur explores feminist issues like domestic violence, marital rape, the education of girls, and underage marriage. Instead of creating villains, Ustaoğlu deploys...
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Book Review| July 01 2018
Clair obscur/Tereddüt. Directed by Ustaoğlu, Yeşim.
Unafilm, Ustaoğlu Film, Slot Machine, and Aeroplan Film,
Journal of Middle East Women's Studies (2018) 14 (2): 230–232.
Zeynep Kurtuluş Korkman; Clair obscur/Tereddüt. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 July 2018; 14 (2): 230–232. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15525864-6680309
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