Sunday, February 04, 2007

Turkish film directors warn about violent films

İstanbul Today’s Zaman

While the role of the media in inciting racial hatred is still under discussion in the aftermath of the assassination of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, Turkish directors engaged in self-criticism at the “Meetings at the Center of the World” conference organized by Kültür AŞ last weekend.

“We are all responsible for Hrant Dink’s death,” Turkish director Derviş Zaim noted. “Making films that glorify violence gives rise to this kind of mentality.” Recalling that cinema and other branches of art could not eradicate such horrific incidents overnight, Zaim said they could, however, prove beneficial in establishing a mutual understanding in the long run.

Speeches delivered at the awards ceremony of the Association of Screenwriters (SİYAD) on Monday night expounded on Zaim’s theory. Taking the stage to present an award, young director Çağan Irmak said: “Films and TV series in recent years that outwardly criticize but inwardly exploit violence for their interests and the productions that abuse a hollow and cheap nationalism as its trump card and that knowingly or unknowingly praise militarist remarks will earn their producers money in the short run. But they will soon turn into guns directed at Turkey’s heart. I should remind those producers who want to win masses through such films of the fact that masses don’t have a conscience. And the people that pull the trigger are mostly dummies emerging from such masses.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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