You might have heard of director Hüseyin Karabey’s recent movie "Gitmek" (My Marlon and Brando), not for its success at international film festivals and the awards it has brought home since last summer, but for a short-lived scandal with the Culture Ministry.
The film was set to be screened in the Culturescapes Festival, held in Basel, Switzerland, which was playing host to Turkey. As the festival kicked off three weeks ago, daily Radikal announced the Culture Ministry’s intervention with Karabey’s film, asking the festival organizers to remove the film from its program, on grounds that, "a Turkish woman couldn’t fall in love with a Kurdish man from Northern Iraq, and the movie could trigger negative propaganda for Turkey."
This petty and absurd attempt at censorship caused the press to jump at the news and soon the Cinema Writers Association, or SİYAD, released a statement reproaching the Ministry’s antics. It was not long before the Ministry renounced all claims, saying that the movie would be screened at the Culturescapes Festival. We, perhaps, will be content with knowing that this little mishap worked for the promotion of the film and hopefully increased its audiences.
"My Marlon and Brando" is documentary director Hüseyin Karabey’s attempt at his first feature film, with a twist. The film blurs the lines between documentary and feature by telling a real love story with the real life heroes acting as themselves.