Postcards From The Orient is a subliminal retelling of the colonialist, Western male gaze and its hyper-sexualised representation of Middle Eastern femininity during the epoch of the Ottomon Empire – “he does not forget to probe: he decides not to see”.
Using lavish mis-en-scene, contrasting with the rigid movements and truth in narration, director Sis Gurdal is able to give us a beautiful yet haunting glimpse into the Western male gaze. This film felt like a music video. The narrationwas a song of poetry, telling the lives of all those who have been subject to ruin due to war and politics.
It reminded me of another short film that I’ve seen recently, diving fully into topics that are often left behind but in a way that stay in your mind long after viewing. Its beauty is what we can thank for that, along with the DOP Evan Burris Trout. This work is simple and elegant yet so strong in execution. It leaves us shocked, wanting to consume more but turning away at what the images truly mean. As an audience we can begin to see how hyper-sexualised representation of Middle Eastern femininity was during its setting. Its angles and set design isburlesque in ways, inviting us to a cinematic showing of truth and justice.
Made in Turkey and spoken in English, Postcards From The Orient is such a special piece, one that should be seen by all to understand the truths of the past and what is often still hidden from us now.
Learn more about the Global Voices Film Festival – https://www.globalvoicesfilmfestival.org