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Mass Media & Popular Culture
Islamic Studies
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Greece/Cyprus, 2013, 57 minutes, Color, DVD, Turkish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Greek, Subtitled
Order No. W141126
Wildly popular at home, Turkish soap operas have taken the world by storm with more than 300 million viewers in 80 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans, and Asia. With unprecedented access, KISMET delves into this phenomenon, weaving together excerpts from the major shows including interviews with their talent and the writers, producers and directors behind the scenes—primarily made up of women—and portraits of the everyday viewers in Turkey, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, and Greece.

Exploring how the serials captivate, inspire and empower women, the film reveals how the soaps impact and break down negative stereotypes and traditional taboos. The soaps openly discuss rape, sexual and domestic violence, child and arranged marriages, and honor killings while also sparking change in gender relationships, activism against sexual abuse, and a wave of divorce across the Middle East. Invaluable for studies in media and popular culture, KISMET discloses how profoundly Turkish soaps penetrate viewers’ social and religious realities while empowering and helping women to transform their lives and strengthen the debate about women’s rights across the region.


  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Nominated for Best Mid-Length Doc
  • One World Human Rights International Film Festival, Czech Republic
  • Movies that Matter, Amsterdam
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
  • International Women’s Film Festival Seoul
  • Sarajevo Intl Film Festival
  • Margaret Mead Film Festival

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    "An inspirational film..."
    Al Jazeera

    "A culturally and politically meaningful source of inspiration to a significant number of women, for whom such ongoing episodic narratives represent a progressive and challenging ideology…The result is encouragingly infectious."

    "The documentary brings us personal stories of women who followed in the footsteps of their heroines to fight for their rights, and to ultimately break free of oppressed lives. "

    “I think it should be seen. It is a very convenient format for use in teaching…I believe it is a very interesting film in that it delineates a dynamic transnational sphere of influence and spread of television work.”
    Film Icon Journal

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    Kismet is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us