For Teachers and Students (13): Discussion Questions for Bliss (Abdullah Oğuz, 2007)

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For Teachers and Students (13): Discussion Questions for Bliss/Mutluluk (Abdullah Oğuz, 2007)

(Abdullah Oğuz’s Bliss is the cinema adaptation of Zülfü Livaneli’s novel. To order the film, click here. /English subtitles-available)

  • Do some research to find out information about honor killings in Turkey: Why is it a problem in Turkey? Is it a widespread problem? What mechanisms are available to prevent it?…
  • Examine and discuss what the following people could represent in the film: Meryem, Cemal, Prof. Irfan, Meryem’s stepmother, Cemal’s father, Prof. Irfan’s wife, Prof. Irfan’s female student.
  • Identify and discuss what the following Turkish names could signify: Meryem, Irfan, Cemal.
  • Would you consider Meryem and Cemal rebellious. Why? Why not?
  • Identify the major settings as possible in the film, e.g. Turkey, Istanbul, the coves in Marmaris, and discuss what each might stand for in the story.
  • What could be the significance of Prof. Ihsan’s sailboat? How does it function in the film?
  • What is the function of “water” in the film?
  • Find out what a road movie is and discuss to what extent you can call “Bliss/Mutluluk” a road movie.
  • The film displays several binary oppositions both thematically and visually. Identify at least two of them and discuss how these oppositions contribute to your understanding of the story and the characters.
  • How are men and women depicted in the film?
  • Comment on the director’s use of camera and location in the scene where Cemal attempts to kill Meryem in Istanbul.
  • Discuss to what extent you would consider the film a critique of modern Turkey.

© Ali Nihat Eken, İstanbul, December 2007

Turkish version here

Useful links:
Study Questions for Sevgi Soysal’s Hanife
My Father and Son (Çağan Irmak)