I am going to analyse the movie calls Çoğunluk (2010) directed by Seren Yüce in terms of feminist theory, there will be intertwined with the movie and the theory while there will not be theory narrative.
In the first metaphorical scene where the forest, Kemal's dictatorship, giving way or absolute domination over Mertkan is seen. In this first scene, a man and a child are seen walking through the forest. The man walks ahead and the boy stays behind, panting. It is difficult for the child to follow the man, but the child does not stop and continues. In the second forest scene, Mertkan is alone in the forest and sent to the construction site outside the city by his father because he did something that his father did not want. In fact, in the face of the only resistance she showed, she was left alone by Kemal and was condemned to listen to Kemal's words. He was sent out of town by his father to do an unnecessary job because he had been traveling with his friends the previous day and came late. In other words, it would be like going beyond the borders of the government and immediately punished against it. In the third scene seen in the forest, the resistance Mertrkan showed increased and therefore Kemal sends Mertkan away from him in order to maintain his absolute domination. In other words, he puts a physical distance between him and Mertkan and orders Mertkan a difficult task to do. Here, the punishment mechanism of the government is a mechanism like where crime increasing punishment also increase.
In the first scene, when Mertkan comes behind his father and follows him, even if it is difficult, he can move with him, keeping the distance between him. They run together and come home. The reason for keeping the physical distance between them is to preserve the strong and managed relationship. However, if the state with power maintains its distance from the people and does not cross certain boundaries, Kemal maintains the physical distance between Mertkan in order to maintain the domination of his absolute power to the end. In the later scenes, Mertkan's father, who showed a resistance to this power, is no longer with him. Because power had to widen the physical distance even more in order to display its absoluteness. At the last moment in the forest, Kemal Mertkana says: "Before you leave, have those hair cut like a man". The man-to-short phrase shows the physical strength of the stronger man over the weaker one.
The strong man can interfere with the body of the weak one as he wishes. It also legitimizes this intervention by referring to "what should be" social norms. This word is a clear expression of performativity .The phenomenon that constantly re-creates itself is an imitation to the mind of Mertkan or how it is to be a man. Male discourse comes into existence after a while. The second place most seen in the movie is the house where Mertkan, Mother and Kemal live.
Kemal is a very rich man. His works are in various places in Turkey and it has a luxury car, but despite all this wealth in a small apartment, live in an old house. This house has a very narrow corridor and in general the rooms are also quite small. The characters do not have a lot of space in the house to move around. Despite all this wealth, the fact that they do not live in another house is an indication that they have a conservative background. We see a father who does not go beyond what he was taught and teaches his child the same things. What he has been taught is also what the society in which he lives has coded for years. These are the norms that code how a man should be or should go to the military. Kemal, who is deeply committed to all these norms, shows his conservatism about where he lives.
The fact that each of the characters has a limited living space at home symbolizes the restricted emotional and intellectual world in which they imprison themselves. They do not trust themselves enough to go beyond their world of ideas, the world outside is an insecure and slippery ground for every one of them. Just as they do not realize the world outside, going beyond the norms, they are bound to their homes just as they adhere to these norms.
The movie tells of a middle-class family living in Turkey. Although the family is a
wealthy family, they live in a middle-class flat and make friends with people like themselves. They share the same ideology with most of the rest of the society, showing a middle-class family sharing even the same hatred, the same hatred. The characters in the movie are people who live quite stable lives, who make their own character constructions through the definition of others. I think it can be interpreted as what creates the majority is the existence of the minority. In this
film, it is told to me that since the minorities are actually a great majority, somehow this large number seems to be a minority because it is too faint.
There are two characters from mass disadvantaged groups, one of whom is Gul character, and the other is a child worker who is subjected to violence by his father. The characters who are members of disadvantaged groups are somehow fighting for life. However, members of the visible majority are not in any resistance or struggle. There are very few female characters in the movie, and these female characters often come from lower classes financially. Female characters are also generally very faint and weak characters. For example, the name of the character who plays the mother in the film is Nazan, but he is so rarely called that the audience does not remember this name. The women are almost like servants in the film. For Gül Mertkan, she is no more than a person who meets her sexual needs, she is a woman who does cooking and cleaning for Nazan Kemal, and for Mertkan, she is a mother who helps her meet her own needs but whose emotional communication is very weak. Despite the huge population of women in society, the fact that there are very few women in the film and their faint appearance is actually an indication of how and how we view the majority has changed the majority and that the majority is not stable.
In the film, Gül's living with her roommates, her being in solidarity with her girlfriend and student friend who sells handkerchiefs are like a glimmer of hope born to break social norms, but then this solidarity collapses under male hegemony and what happened to Gul remains an unknown.
Mertkan is a character who accepts the norms in his relationship with his father, but also does not fulfill the duties that are an extension of the norms, postpones them as much as possible, and listens to the voice of conscience at least. He cannot destroy his relationship with power, because he actually defines his own self on the existence of power. If he loses his own class struggle and identity rather than his father or his family, if he resists too hard to power. If Mertkan does not do what his father imposes on him, he will ignore this micro power. However, there is nothing else Mertkan can define himself outside the limits of the government. What a man who does not have a car and school money loses in this area outside of power is not only material things but also an identity. Mertkan never did his own identity construction. He has no idea of an alternative to these ideas, even if he does not accept what power imposes on him. Since he is not building his own ideas and self, he will turn into a faint character that disappears outside the boundaries of power. For this reason, it remains within the limits of power, perhaps even though he is unhappy. Another reason why Mertkan character is a part of male hegomania is that he tries to imitate his father. While the individual builds in a way that he can defend himself against the outside, he takes the strongest character as an example.
The person Mertkan takes as an example is Kemal, that is, his father. In the second scene of the movie, they enter the house and his father humiliates the maid. Later, Mertkan kicks the maid for no reason. This is actually an exaggerated imitation of the exemplary father figure. Mertkan is a child who is programmed to be the person expected of him within the social framework, to be a man, to be a nationalist, a militarist, and to be aware of his class superiority. To exist, it must be included in the majority, and that involvement only takes place by acting like the majority. He tries to honor his father by pretending to be his father, so that he can build his identity, which he cannot construct, under the yoke of power, by the imposition of power on him.
Kemal, Mertkan and Mertkan have an older brother in a family engaged in trade. When the family structure in the narrative of the film is examined, a middle class and nationalist family structure is seen in a male-dominated society. In such families, if there are two boys, both are very important because there is a subordinate-superior relationship between these boys and the
father. Just like we saw in the movie in the Kemal-Mertkan relationship. And this subordinatesuperior relationship does not end when married, especially if the brother and father work in the same place, just like in the movie. So at this point, the brother character in the movie seems to have remained quite weak. Kemal's domination over "brother" and Mertkan may have faded in the end, but it is seen that the film still lacks the "brother" narrative. In the first scene where his
brother is seen, he tells Mertkan that he has experienced the same things in the past. Kemal, as a male father, has established the same domination on his sons and the way children resist this domination is marriage. But when we look at the "brother" who says he got married and survived, we see that he is still working with his father. Is it possible to speak of salvation at this point? The question comes to mind. Although he establishes a family and establishes his own autonomy as a man, he is still seen as a big brother who is financially dependent on his father.
In other words, this is actually an indication that there is no escape from the absolute domination of perfection. As a man, it is not possible to escape from the manhood imposed by society. Imperative masculinity tries to survive by constantly repeating itself and normalizing it, and the resistance to this is to stay within the boundaries of new social norms and to marry by sticking to the gender role that society deems appropriate. The first scene where the brother is seen in the film is the scene where he tells Mertkan to marry as a resistance, depending on a gender role. The third scene where his brother is seen is seen having a family dinner. Three generations of men, with grandfather son and grandchild, are seen at dinner. The grandson shoots Mertkan with a toy gun and tells him that he also wants to go to the military. The family members and Kemal laughed that he will leave when his turn comes. It is a weapon that the boy does not take away from his grandfather's house even when he is going to dinner. And this is reciprocated by a performativ admired by other men mentioned.
One of the things that makes a man to a man is to go to the military, this little boy has been taught, and the child also looks forward to becoming a man. The biggest reason for the elder brother figure to be in the movie may be to show the male hegomania, the imposition of militarism in this scene. But I still think he's a character that hasn't been deep enough.
It is interesting that the mother smoking in the kitchen is not remotely related to the mother in the rest of the movie. In an autonomous area where there is no male domination and social norms, we see a mother smoking in her kitchen while everyone is sleeping in the middle of the night, even in the morning. Holding the cigarette, looking away, not answering Mertkan when he comes to the kitchen and asks questions appear as behaviors different from the general frame of the mother character. In fact, we see a woman grouch to herself for the rest of the movie. In the absence of anyone, the mother character turns into an unhappy woman who shares her real problems only with herself and knows that she cannot be understood by the men in the family. The only moment when the woman discusses her true self with herself is the kitchen in which she spent almost her entire life. And now she has accepted the absolute sovereignty of "man". In another scene where the mother is seen in the kitchen, Mertkan asks his mother to talk to Kemal. Nazan says she doesn't want to argue with Kemal. The reason for this is that the mother has accepted Kemal's absolute sovereignty and is aware that she is the weaker person in the maledominated world and that she cannot compare her powers with Kemal’s. In other words, what makes Nazan the mother is that she has not shown any resistance to get out of this male dominated space or to achieve equality. Gül in the movie resisted to go to university and fought for his own rights. However, the mother character is never in any struggle and therefore she becomes a character that continues to weaken.
It is possible to see the phenomena that Althusser calls the ideological apparatus of the state throughout the film. The discrimination, humiliation, performitivities women make against each other are very common in the film. The mother character, who is economically upper class, says that she is ignorant about the Sukriye character from the lower class and therefore does not know how to spray perfume. Or Mertkan's friends' analogy with a gypsy about Gül is also an example of the ideological apparatus of the state. Mertkan also says that he will not be with a woman working at the buffet, and even hides this relationship to his friends because his resistance to hegemony is very weak and he appears as a weak character without individuality. Mertkan does not tell his friends because he knows that his relationship will not be approved by the public.
At this point, it is possible to observe the domination of friends, that is society, over each other. Everyone lives a very narrow, boring life in a world where they are not actually happy, but on the other hand, it is the domination they establish over each other that causes this.