During Tuesday's lecture, we watched portions of the Turkish telenovela turned Spanish dubbed drama, "Que Culpa Tiene Fatmagul". One of these clips included the scene from Episode One where she is gang raped by a group of drunk men. Just like in the drama itself, Dr. A did not sugar coat the scene. No parts of the crime were skipped in class, no warnings were given for us to cover our eyes or prepare ourselves, and nothing was censored.
As a Public Relations major and a huge movie junkie, this is something I found so perplexingly rare not only in Turkish or Spanish culture but unfortunately also in American culture. In any other Hollywood movie or drama, the screen would go to black before anything too emotionally pressing was shown in order to keep audience ratings up and not scare viewers away especially on Episode One. In any other average show, the director would have just flashed straight to the part where Fatmagul is in the hospital or where she is left in the dirt to cry.
However, the director of Fatmagul, Hilal Saral, purposely shows it all from beginning to end without infringing on restrictive censorship ratings. She shows the portion where the men get clearly intoxicated, the part where they drunkenly spot Fatmagul, and her desperate attempt at escaping. She takes the audience from hope to hopelessness, and we see the point where Fatmagul gives up fighting against her rapists. We are shown how she has no more energy to do so and is covered in complete darkness.
Nothing about this scene is pretty, yet it was still so hard to peel away from. The entire act was so visibly heartbreaking where you couldn't stop watching. Everything about it felt so real because Saral took no shortcuts in showing us reality. Fatmagul gave the audience a face and a name to put to a worldwide issue.
You see rape culture manifesting itself in American society today with movies such as "Fifty Shades of Grey" becoming huge successes across the charts. You see a normalization where violence towards women is seen as something appealing, sexy, and masculine on and off college campuses. I applaud Hilal Saral and the entire staff of "Que Culpa Tiene Fatmagul" for placing blame where it belongs, starting a necessary discussion across borders, and refusing to sugar coat an on screen scene of a problem that happens all too often off screen.