Director and writer Ahu Öztürk’s debut film Dust Cloth (Toz Bezi in Turkish) captures the struggle of two house maids of Kurdish origins, Nesirn and Hatun, trying to find stability in modern Turkish society.
The most brilliant element in the film is the acting of Asiye Dinçsoy in the role of Nesirn. Her character is of a single mom, who is aging but not from the factor of passing years, rather from the burdens she has to withstand. The husband that went AWOL, her unstable job, her nagging landlord, the future of her little girl, and the unforgiving system where the impoverished serve the rich.
Nesirn’s aging is beautifully captured by the film’s touching cinematography, by close-ups of her ‘imperfect’ but beautiful and tender face, where wrinkles of oppression and hopelessness surface. I felt attracted to this character, as she is holding fast to her dignity and sanity.
The name Dust Cloth has a powerful connotation here. It is a cleaning cloth. It was once owned, celebrated, used, abused, and left or thrown away. Ahu Öztürk argues that this happens not only to cleaning tools, but also to human beings.
Ahu Öztürk's film is a feminist interpretation of the status of working women worldwide. Calling it defeatist would be unfair, while calling it optimistic would be unrealistic.
The film will be interesting to audiences interested in viewing another Turkey, different from that portrayed in its posh soap operas.
(Photo: still from Dust Cloth)
Dust Cloth will be screened Tuesday, 8 November, at Cinema Zawya, 4 Abdel Hamid Said Street, off Talaat Harb Street, Downtown Cairo
Check the complete programme of Panorama for Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia and Port Said here
Check our recommendations for the days between 2 and 6 November 2016, in Cairo, here
Ahram Online is the media sponsor of The Panorama of the European Film and of Zawya
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