Inspired by the real life murder of Ahmet Yildiz, filmmakers Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay set out to tell the story of a friend who was believed to be killed by his father for being in a homosexual relationship. The result is Zenne (or Zenne Dancer) which focuses on three disparate characters forging a friendship that challenges at least one of them to come to terms with who he is.
According to Reuters, that’s not all it’s challenging. At least one newspaper in the largely Muslim country has decried the movie as “homosexual propaganda” made by people trying to “legitimiz[e] perversion through their so-called art.” This comes on the heels of the movie winning 5 awards at Turkey’s most respected film festival, the Antalya Golden Orange – including Best First Feature and Best Cinematography.
Check out the trailer:
Even from the trailer it’s clear that this is a first feature, but it still looks compelling. It may be shocking to Turkish audiences, but there are undoubtedly more than a few here in the United States that would, sadly, be shocked as well.
Still, the entire project is a show of defiance and bravery coming out of a country that still sees many families killing young women for acts that, to their minds, bring shame. Yildiz’s case is thought to be the first gay honor killing, but it looks like his story will live on in a film that confronts sexual politics, religion, and massive amounts of gold bangles.
What do you think?