Volume 12, Number 24
11 April 2006

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This Week

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Brokeback Mountain!
I finally went to see the so-called “gay cowboy movie,” “Brokeback Mountain.” Before it opened at cinemas in Turkey, the Ministry of Culture discussed this movie and its effect on society. In my opinion, the film is not as good as you might think, considering that it was nominated for several Oscars. However, since the Hollywood entertainment industry has been directing its talent and money to making TV series, movies these days just aren't as good as they used to be.

As you all know, this film, about a gay relationship between two cowboys, caused a conflict in our country. People under the age of 18 have been forbidden to watch it in Turkey. In the U.S., the film has an R rating, meaning that minors can watch it only if they are with an adult. Also, even in many countries where gay marriage is legal, it is still forbidden for those under age 18. I am sure that the authorities had a
good reason for making this rule. That is because this is just a story about love between two people. I know it's kind of irritating to watch two men kissing and hugging. But love is love, in any case. This couple fights for their love, which lasts for 20 years. Both guys get married to women and have children. However, they try to see each other, even though the circumstances are difficult for them. It's a regular romantic movie--if we don't consider that the lovers are gay.

The reason given for banning this movie is that it encourages people to be gay. However, this is not anything like "Valley of the Wolves," which some think encourages people to carry a gun. Being gay is a physical thing, not a matter of choice. As long as you're heterosexual, you won't want to be gay.

In relation to the issues raised by this movie, television reporters here have interviewed actors and asked them whether they would want to play a gay role in a movie. The actors--artists who are supposed to be professional, and aim to be good examples for the country--answer that they would never accept a gay role! However, maybe this is understandable. We shouldn't forget that people held a funeral for a character who died in a TV series (the actor is actually still alive). In view of this, people may think that someone who plays a gay role in the movies or on television could be gay in real life. Yes, this is true.

Some time back, there was a Turkish movie called "Hamam," which featured a homosexual relationship between two men. One of the actors, Mehmet Günsur--who is nowadays considered "hot" by female fans--left Turkey after this movie and didn't return for many years. I don't know whether he moved away to make people forget his role in "Hamam," but it seems that everyone has indeed now forgotten that he played a gay role.

Anyway, what I loved in "Brokeback Mountain" was the idea of love, and nothing else. But the Hollywood entertainment industry is lowering the quality of its productions. They should pay more attention to films than to TV series. For the sake of being "creative," they've produced a movie about cowboys in love, just to get attention and be nominated for awards. The result in Turkey was that the Ministry of Culture wanted to ban the film. I don't think that it's a hardcore gay movie, nor do I think that it should have been nominated for the Oscars. It's not so perfect that everyone should see it, but it's a nice enough film if you have some free time.


Gülay Acar (COMD/III)

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