Conversations Across the Bosphorous

A film by Jeanne C. Finley in collaboration with Mine Y. Ternar, Gokcen Hava Art, and Pelin Esmer

1995 | 42 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99419


CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE BOSPHOROUS intertwines the stories of two Muslim women from Istanbul - Gokcen, from an orthodox Islamic family who takes off her veil after years of struggle; and Mine, from a secular family, who discovers her faith living as an immigrant in San Francisco. Both women demonstrate how their relationship to their faith has shaped and determined their personal lives. Combining evocative visual imagery with poetic and lively debate, CONVERSATIONS ACROSS THE BOSPHOROUS provides a deeper understanding of Turkish society and the current tensions between fundamentalist and secular forces.


“A wonderful film. Full of exceptional insights into the vagaries of women’s existence between fundamentalism and secularism in Turkey. Deeply moving and exquisitely photographed.”

Aron Rodrique Stanford University

"As a tool for initiating critical analysis in discussions of gender and religion in the feminist classroom, [this] provides a rich and diverse examination of Turkish women’s experiences with Islam during the 1990s."

Signs: Films for the Feminist Classroom


Jeanne C. Finley

Jeanne C. Finley is a media artist who works in experimental and documentary forms, including film, video, photography, installation, Internet, and site-specific public works. Her work has been exhibited in such international institutions as the Guggenheim Museum.

Ms. Finley's recent exhibition, "IMPERFECT CITY, IMPERFECT STATE" was created in collaboration with John Muse and opened at the Delaware Museum of Contemporary art in the spring of 2013. Since 1989 Ms. Finley has worked with Mr. Muse on many installation and video projects, including FLAT LAND (2007), CLOCKWORK (2006), and CATAPULT (2005). In 2005 Finley was an artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts. In 2001 she received an Arts-Link fellowship to Sarajevo to create THE HOUSE OF DRAFTS, a film and website with Bosnian media artists. During 1990 Finley received a Fulbright Fellowship to Yugoslavia where she directed programs for Radio/TV Belgrade. In 1994 she was an artist-in-residence in Istanbul, Turkey, through a grant from the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation.

Finley's film and video credits include LOST (2006), LOSS PREVENTION (2000), O NIGHT WITHOUT OBJECTS, A TRILOGY (1998) A.R.M. AROUND MOSCOW (1993), INVOLUNTARY CONVERSION (1991) and NOMADS AT THE 25 DOOR. These tapes have won awards at such international festivals as the San Francisco Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Berlin Video Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and World Wide Video Festival.

Jeanne currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and son. Her gallery work is represented by the Patricia Sweetow Gallery and her films are distributed by Video Data Bank, Women Make Movies, and Electronic Arts Intermix. (8/14)

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