A Sociological Perspective on Cinema: ‘Salı’ (Tuesday)

Written by Zeynep Delav

‘Salı’, draws the attention to one’s complicated connection with the city through the perspective of a woman as well as to the abrasive aspect to such a lifestyle and more importantly, to the extant male domination that is supposedly nonexistent.

Cinema, which reveals the changes in the social, political and cultural life in the fastest way possible, has always given way to an analysis of sociology. Ever since the birth of cinema, the city has always been the first on the list of topics of exploration for the movie screens. These factors first appear within the images of Lumiére Brothers. Just like Baudrillard puts it, this era which we are living in, is being reflected from the camera lenses. We have been witnessing this particularly within recent cinema. These come before us in themes of miscommunication, experiences of people who live in high buildings becoming strangers and isolated; in other words, the negative aspects of city living.

In its entirety, the art of cinema that reflects this in the best manner forces us to observe ourselves. Migration, social fractions and the difficulties these concepts bring along have been the greatest pains of the urbanisation process of Istanbul. The unstoppable speed of change of cities during their transformations into metropolitan cities also negatively affect the cultural structure of the city. Directors like Derviş Zaim, Zeki Demirkubuz, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Fatih Akın and the like are the names who have been able to reflect the other aspect of the city onto the wide screen in full length movies. Istanbul also hosts the individual, who has become estranged to the city with its many difficulties and modern structures, within its cinema.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan´s ‘Distant’, Derviş Zaim´s ‘Overhead Kick in the Coffin’ and many other movies reveal the depression of the urban dweller and the solitude of the individuals stuck between blocks of concrete. On the other hand, the degredation of the cultural structure appears before us in the difficulties experienced by women in urban life. It is undoubtedly evident that cinema has made the greatest contribution of illustrating the fundamentals of social change within our minds. Women, who are generally imprisoned within the walls of a house in the traditional social structure, is left behind the status of men. Women have always received their share of the sexual roles cut out for them in depictions as mothers, partners or housewives. Every change and development experienced within the economic, cultural, political and technological fields, which may be depicted as progress, have only multiplied and increased the burdens upon the role and status of women. It is exactly at this point that Ziya Demirel presented his new movie ‘Salı’ (Tuesday) that explores the perfect example of this change.

The Cannes Film Festival organised at the city of Cannes in France has, for the first time in 27 years, opened its events this year with a female director´s movie. The 68th Cannes Film Festival screened Emmanuelle Bercot´s ‘La Tete Haute’, with leading French actress Catherine Deneuve during the opening of the festival. Cannes had, for the first time ever, opened its festival with Diane Kurys´ ‘Man In Love’ in the year 1987, and never again up until this year had chosen a female director´s movie for its gala.


Two Turkish directors have taken their place at Cannes amongst the 19 films competing for the Golden Palm Award. In short films, Ziya Demirel´s ‘Salı’ (Tuesday) and Deniz Gamze Ergüven´s ‘Directors´ Fortnight’ took place, while the French-made ‘Mustang’ competed in the parallel section. The Turkey-France co-production, ‘Salı’ (Tuesday), was one of the 9 short films selected amongst the 4550 applications for the Cannes Short Films Festival. Ziya Demirel, the grandson of theatre director Ziya Demirel, was born in 1988 and with his fourth short film explored Istanbul. Ziya Demirel´s love for literature, theatre and cinema goes back a long way in his childhood.

Apart from Ziya Demirel´s love for theatre during his high school years, he is also a film maker who has been channelled into the field of literature by his father. Demirel, who studied industrial engineering at Galatasaray University, states that ¨he will eventually make movies¨, and heads off to Prague for an education in directing and script writing. The movie ‘Salı’ (Tuesday) is not Demirel´s first short film. He had made three short films earlier and also received various awards. His short movie ‘Evico’, inspired by Chekov is still engraved in our memories.

Demirel, whose mind had always been occupied with the themes of city and women, makes the movie ‘Salı’ once his friend Buket Coşkuner shares an anecdote with him. ‘Salı’ (Tuesday) rigorously explores the theme of women faced with the difficulties of the city life as well as the challenging conditions brought together with modernisation.

The movie draws the attention of its audience to one’s complicated connection with the city through the perspective of a young woman as well as to the abrasive aspect to such a lifestyle and more importantly, to the extant male domination that is supposedly nonexistent. Together with Turkish Cinema, we attain the opportunity to observe the gender roles and how these come to exist within the urban, educated, young and modern classes. With this, we are also able to witness the positioning of women in society. Although ‘Waves ’98’ (Ely Dagher) was chosen for the 2015 Cannes Short Films Festival, Ziya Demirel´s ‘Salı’, has already attained its ever lasting position amongst the most memorable short films.

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Zeynep Delav

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