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قضية المرأة ومكانتها في سينما العالم الثالث / The Question of Women in the Cinema of the Third World
مصطفى درويش and Moustafa Darwish
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
No. 7, The Third World: Literature and Consciousness / ﺍﻟﻌﺎﻟﻢ ﺍﻟﺜﺎﻟﺚ: ﺍﻷﺩﺐ ﻭﺍﻟﻮﻋﻲ (Spring, 1987), pp. 52-62
Published by: Department of English and Comparative Literature, American University in Cairo and American University in Cairo Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/521861
Page Count: 11
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Women are both essential and marginal in society: they are essential by virtue of being half of society, present in all classes and social groups. They are also marginalized given the economic, social and political roles they are assigned. Despite the fact that the first feature film was made by a woman, Alice Guy (1896), film - making remains predominantly a male profession. In Egypt, voices upholding women's rights go back to the nineteenth century, but they have not been reinforced by the Seventh Art. At worst, women were presented unrealistically, stupidly, sentimentally and exploitatively (see for example Stephan Rosti's film Layla, 1927). At best a more positive image was presented, but with it went the reduction of a woman's problem to the question of her relationship to man (see for example Sa'id Marzuq's film I want A Solution, 1975). The Third World, however, has offered fine alternatives in films that present intelligently and artistically the question of women. Two examples, one made in a revolutionary context and the other in a reactionary one, show how feminist issues can be sensitively depicted in their complexity on screen. Lucia (1968) by the Cuban director Humberto Solas and Yol (1982) by the Turkish director Yilmaz Güney attest to the possibility of a new vision of the question of women. Lucia presents in three cycles the lives of an aristocratic, a bourgeois and a peasant woman, all three named Lucia. Solas makes artistic use of techniques developed by European and Japanese directors to articulate his own views. Aristocratic Lucia is caught between her passionate love and international politics. She ends in madness. Lucia, the bourgeoise, on the other hand, chooses to join her revolutionary husband, and when he dies, she suffers alone. She is a subject of contemplation, not a maker of history. Finally, Lucia the peasant woman is presented with a realistic and somewhat satiric tone amidst the contradictions of post - revolutionary Cuba. This cycle depicts the complexity and inconsistency of Lucia's position and humorously suggests the possibility of resolution. Yol (The Road) was partly conceived and directed when Güney was in jail in Turkey. The heroes of the film are prisoners allowed a short holiday. As they leave their actual prison, the director deftly shows how they are prisoners of traditions. Unable to escape the prison-house of patriarchal models, the characters are pathetically and unwittingly preserving authoritarian structures rather than maintaining human relations with their families. In subjugating women to unflexible rules, they are not the only ones victimized: men and society are also dragged into the tragic situation.
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics © 1987 Department of English and Comparative Literature, American University in Cairo