A Feminist Film: Caramel

A Feminist Film: Caramel

İkbal Bozkurt Avcı (Fırat Universtiy, Turkey) and Derya Çetin (Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0128-3.ch017

Abstract

Feminist film theory evaluates films by some concepts such as subject positions, narrative closures, and fetishism. This theory suggests that the catharsis of popular films is in the service of the male audience. However, many feminist films centered on women are also made, which are outside the mainstream cinema and reach a considerable amount of viewers. This study aims to evaluate Caramel (Nadine Labaki, 2007) by the concepts of feminist film theory. The film expresses a country dominated by taboos through these five women.
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The Feminist Film Theory As A Feminist Response To Cinema

Nilüfer Timisi (2011: 162) classifies the evolution of the feminist film theory from its dawn to the present based on the dominant and critical approaches in social sciences. Timisi identifies as dominant/mainstream the first of these approaches that were popular in early 1970s. These film works, also called as Anglo-American, take the French surrealists and their texts’ reinterpretation as their reference (Allen, 2004: 125). The theoretical foundation of these works that generally focus on the issues of gender and the representation of women in cinema is composed by the books of theorists such as Molly Haskell, Marjorie Rosen and Joan Mellen. Adopting a sociological and empirical attitude, these writers examine the historical position of women in films in a chronological order (Smelik, 2008: 2) and see as a problem that they are represented by negative stereotypes in their studies written based on Hollywood cinema. While the theoretical foundations of early feminist film works are laid by these writers, female film festivals are organized on one hand, and female directors such as Alica Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber, Anita Loos, Aziza Amir, Maria Landeta, Gilda de Abreu and Carmen Santos contribute to the feminist cinema by improving themselves in film production (Stam, 2000: 171-172). Thus, the mainstream feminist film works have gained significant theoretical and practical accumulation in terms of later examining film production processes and developing theories focused on viewer.

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