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I Named Her Angel (Ismini Melek Koydum) // Rebetiko: Song of Two Cities

I Named Her Angel (2006, 30 mins) This documentary film tells the story of a 12 year-old Turkish girl, Elif, learning the basics of her religion, Mevlevism. Mevlevis are also known as Whirling Dervishes in the Western World, and they are a part of a heterodox tradition of Islam. Elif attends the meetings at the religious den, listens to the spiritual leader about the matters of life, death, being human, Mevlana, Allah, etc., reads the books about her religion and also learns how to pray by whirling. This film follows Elif through the course of a year, witnessing her learning how to do the sema (whirling), how to wear the tennure (white robes that Mevlevi's wear during the religious ceremonies), about the position of women in this religion, performing at the centuries old Galata Mevlevi Temple, learning the teachings of Mevlana, the founder of Mevlevism. Mevlana is also known as Rumi and his poems are vastly popular in the Western World. The film attempts to show a different view of Islam through the eyes of a 12 year-old Turkish girl.

In Turkish with English subtitles.

Rebetiko: The Song of Two Cities (2004, 49 mins) Rebetiko: The Song of Two Cities is about a musical form called "Rebetiko" that was created by the Greeks and Turks at the beginning of the 20th century. As a result of the war between Greece and Turkey, refugees who had to leave Turkey brought this music with them to Greece in the 1920s. Rebetiko flourished in Greek taverns and continues to affect other musical styles. In the film, the children of the refugees tell their heartbreaking stories of suffering and pain, while the men and women who perform Rebetiko explain what this music style means to them: destruction, survival, expression, and hope for a better life. The film tries to look at the Greece-Turkey issue with a different point of view. It tries to show that these two cultures lived together for centuries and created this beautiful music.

In Greek and Turkish with English subtitles.

 

Two movies on the same disc. Both by director Nefin Dinc.