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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Greece and Turkey: Film, "The Other Town", Nefin Dinc

I hope this film is shown in the UK


Also on YouTube

"Frozen conflicts are international disputes that are not resolved for many years. Greeks and Turks (and especially their states) have tense relations the last decades. The two sides fought against each other in the past and at present they face a series of disagreements. The film is about this conflict and the perceptions of the citizens of the two countries. Two towns, Birgi in western Turkey and Dimitsana in central Peloponnese, are chosen for this film. These towns are rich in memories about the Other. In the past the Ottomans had captured the Greek town and the Greeks the Turkish one.
The filmmakers visited the two towns several times for a year and examined a range of aspects: how history is taught in schools, how the Other is presented during the national festivities, what the dignitaries think and say about the conflict and the past, what are the perceptions and the prejudices of the laymen and of the children, what the museums exhibit as history, etc. The inhabitants, young and old, were asked to speak about their feelings, fears and prospects vis-à-vis the Other. The film's objective was to examine at what extent the widespread popular beliefs of the citizens, as well as the state policies of opinion forming reproduce prejudices which in turn perpetuate the conflict. The filmmakers are also preparing a booklet that can be used for conflict resolution workshops and in classrooms, seminars and conferences around the world".


Filmmaker Nefin Dinc

"When Turkish filmmaker Nefin Dinc was a graduate student in Great Britain, she noticed that while her Greek friends and Turkish friends "liked each other a lot," they also repeated similar ideas about the other that favored their own country: "the Turkish side would say that the Greeks had 'Megali Idea', which means they want to expand and get Turkish lands still, and the Greeks would say that Turkey would attack Greece if she had the chance." Dinc realized that the basis for many of these stereotypes and prejudices came out of not only nationalistic education in Turkey and Greece, but also the influence of the media, national ceremonies, and religious ceremonies in both countries. Together with Hercules Millas, she made the documentary The Other Town "to show how we are affected by the nationalistic education in both countries."

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