"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. "
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 majors 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.
WINNER, CINEMA TROPICAL, BEST LATINO FILM OF THE YEAR
"A skillful and mindful exploration of the complexities to find
a fascinating coming of age story culturally steeped in history..."
Society daughters, most of them Mexican American, are invited to debut in elaborate Colonial gowns representing iconic figures from America's revolutionary history, to reenact a ball thrown by America's first First Lady. LAS MARTHAS follows two of the young debutantes - one a prominent member of Laredo society and the other a newcomer from Mexico - as they prepare for this rite of passage. The documentary unravels the origins of the celebration and explores why a town like Laredo, with such deep Mexican roots, feels such affinity for America's Founding Father, and how against all odds the Washington's Birthday Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks to the Mexican American girls who continue to wear the guilded burden of tradition.