Why would you shame your family?
Almost a Turkish Soap Opera, is an independent feature film about the turmoil of two young modern Turkish men looking for the glamour in Hollywood. Instead of finding fortune and fame, they end up in arranged marriages, illegal employment, scandalous affairs, and family chaos.
Almost a Turkish Soap Opera feature film captures the turmoil of Kamil and Adel, two young modern Turkish men looking for the glamour in Hollywood. However, instead of fortune and fame, they find themselves illegal immigrants facing US deportation. They seek arranged marriages with their cousins to solve their immigration issues which opens new problems when they find themselves involved in scandalous love affairs leading to greater family chaos. Have their lives now become a real life Turkish soap opera?
Long Synopsis: Almost a Turkish Soap Opera is a story about Adel, a young Turkish man whose family has lived an impoverished life while his grand uncle controls the inheritance money which was stolen from his father as a child. He travels to the USA, works illegally, and is deported back to Istanbul. Unable to return to the USA, he flies to Canada where he marries his grand uncle’s spoiled obnoxious granddaughter in exchange for his status. But he falls in love with his English teacher and everything spirals downward from there. How did his life turn into a Turkish soap opera?
“Turkish soap operas are huge in Europe and the Middle East” Turkish soap operas such as Gumus (Nour), Valley of Wolves, Ezel, Myrna and Halil, Aski Memnu (Forbidden Love) dubbed in Arabic and many other languages have become a hit in the Middle East and in many European countries since MBC (Middle East Broadcast Center) started broadcasting the shows on their satellite channels. The soap opera storylines are always full of drama and excitement with a mixture of mafia, arranged marriages, affairs, divorce, scandals all within the backdrop of modern Muslim lifestyle in Istanbul. These soaps have caught the attention of men and women, and young and old alike. Families work around their daily schedules so that they are home in time to catch the next episode of their favourite soap. Some Islamic religious leaders blame the TV soaps for injecting Western society’s influence on Muslim family beliefs and traditions. But in most part, viewers find the shows entertaining and they find they can relate to them because they depict everyday life with people who have similar cultures unlike the characters in shows from mainstream American television or Hollywood blockbusters.
I wrote this story to capture the essence of the life that people from the Middle East experience and the challenges they face. Meeting a wonderful Arabic couple visiting from the Middle East was a great influence for my interest in Turkish soap operas. During their stay, the wife said that she missed watching her favourite Arabic-dubbed Turkish soap operas. We searched online and found streaming videos of the soap operas. This started a nightly ritual of watching back to back episodes of different series of Turkish soaps. Our marathon watching weekends were full of fun, laughter and drama. We had so many great conversations as we analyzed the characters and the scenes together. I recall the husband telling me that he had no interest in soap operas. However, when it came time to watch the shows, he was always the one who could repeat word for word scenes from past episodes as he critiqued the current storyline.
Almost a Turkish Soap Opera paints a vivid portrayal of the lives and struggles of young modern Muslim adults trying to make a life in the West. The story will attract audiences of popular contemporary movies such as the Kite Runner and the Brick Lane. A published author, Anne-Rae Vasquez, wrote the novel, Almost a Turkish Soap Opera (to be released in 2011), Gathering Dust – a collection of poems, and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing).
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Internet Drama and Mystery Television Series, 1996-2014 by Vincent Terrace page 7
Published by McFarland & Co. Inc. Publishers, North Carolina
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