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From Turkish greengrocer to drag queen: reassessing patriarchy in recent TurkishGerman coming-of-age films

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This article explores the critical reassessment of one particularly prevalent ethnic stereotype in TurkishGerman cinema: the stereotype of the oppressive Turkish partriarch. Comparing Yasemin (1988), a much-cited, early coming-of-age film made by German film-maker Hark Bohm, with three recent features made by young TurkishGerman film-makers Slbiye Gnar's Karamuk (2002), Ayse Polat's Tour Abroad and Zli Aladag's controversial Rage (2006) it examines fatherdaughter and fatherson relationships and traces how these films reaffirm or invert the clichd image of the domineering Turkish father who is out of touch with German majority culture. Drawing on Kobena Mercer's concept of the dialogic imagination, the article investigates whether these cinematic representations of the vilified or idealized father promote social change through a multiplication of critical dialogues or whether they simply reiterate dominant discourses of domination (Mercer 2003).

Keywords: TurkishGerman cinema; coming-of-age film; dialogic imagination; diaspora cinema; diasporic family; patriarchy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Royal Holloway, University of London.

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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