Islam goes Hollywood. An exploratory study on Islam in Turkish cinema

Petra de Bruijn

Abstract


Abstract

By means of two case studies, this article demonstrates how differently Islam is depicted in a Turkish film composed by a secular, intellectual director and in a film considered to promote an Islamic way of life.

Yılmaz Güney’s art house film Umut/Hope (1970) depicts Islam as an integral part of Turkish reality. In the story of a poor carriage driver in South East Anatolia, who turns to treasure hunting guided by an imam, folk Islam is compared to a (secular) national lottery ticket: neither are the solution to existential problems. İsmail Güneş’ film The İmam (2005) can be regarded as an example of the return of Islamic values into Turkish society, showing compatibility with modernity. However, whereas Umut is showing (folk) Islam as an existing reality in Turkish society of the 1970s, The İmam is teaching a moral lesson to Turkish society of the 2000s.


Keywords


Turkish cinema, Turkish Islam, Yılmaz Güney, İsmail Güneş, Umut, The İmam

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2012.51

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