How to depict personal struggles caused by political and religious oppression in modern Turkey? You could pick characters who seem to be stand-ins for issues, as O.Z. Livaneli does in Bliss — like Meryem, a naive girl who ”discredited” her family by being raped; cousin Cemal, a shell-shocked soldier ordered to kill Meryem; and Irfan, the professor they befriend while traveling cross-country to escape their small town, who feels so trapped by his materialistic life that he’s aimlessly fleeing via sailboat.
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