Modernity meets the Middle Ages in a road film from Turkey


By on Thu, February 17, 2011

Friday, Feb. 18. (Turkish, with English subtitles)

"Consistently gripping, visually intoxicating (Bliss) stands as a landmark of contemporary Turkish cinema." Stephen Holden, New York Times

This gorgeous film has a very dark beginning. Seventeen year old Meryem's life is of little use to her anymore, for she is the victim of an "honor crime"; her chastity lost brutally. When she refuses to take her own life, her cousin Cemel is called back from the army and ordered to take her to Istanbul & dispose of her. The trip transforms them both.

Meryem, Cemel, and the professor from Instanbul who offers them shelter in Istanbul.

If Cemel defies his father’s orders and does not kill Meryem, he will have committed a sin just as unforgivable as Meryem’s. Can he soldier though this and take the life of a girl he begins to suspect is innocent?  Can Meryem learn to take control of her own life?  And how will their more traditional perspectives affect the worldviews of the people who show them kindness in the big city?

“Wonderful storytelling ... from the lyrical opening shot of a mountain’s reflection piercing the sea to the closing portrait of open air, director Abdullah Oguz’s narrative is just as crystalline as the Aegean Sea he opulently photographs…Bliss easily could have been an astoundingly depressing and hopeless tale of Muslim oppression…but after he establishes the old-world order that the leads are escaping, (director Oguz) never looks back.”  Justin Strout, Orlando Weekly

Friday, Feb. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Community United Methodist Sanctuary
777 Miramontes St., Half Moon Bay
(corner of Johnston Street)
Suggested donation: $8 adults

More info and a video featuring samples from the lush musical score at: