Harem

Overview

Following the success of Hamam, Turkey-born, Italy-based Ferzan Ozpetek delivers another exotic film that delves into the traditions of his origin. Once again, the exotic city of Istanbul is the place of intrigue. But, unlike Hamam, which was a contemporary story, Harem Suare takes place at the turn of the century in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. The locale of this ornate story of love, power, and fear is the magnificent Yildiz Palace, where Sultan Abdulhamit whiles away the time listening to the finale of...
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Overview

Following the success of Hamam, Turkey-born, Italy-based Ferzan Ozpetek delivers another exotic film that delves into the traditions of his origin. Once again, the exotic city of Istanbul is the place of intrigue. But, unlike Hamam, which was a contemporary story, Harem Suare takes place at the turn of the century in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. The locale of this ornate story of love, power, and fear is the magnificent Yildiz Palace, where Sultan Abdulhamit whiles away the time listening to the finale of La Traviata as rebellions rage all over the country. The Sultan cannot stand unhappy endings, so he has asked Safiye, his favorite concubine, who is Italian, to rewrite the libretto so that Violetta does not die. Nadir, one of the black eunuchs, has plans for Safiye, whom he thinks should become the official wife. Nadir's plans take a different turn when he and Safiye fall in love. In the harem, which is isolated from the rest of the world, life goes on with its plots and subplots, loyalties and betrayals, happiness and tragedies as if time did not exist. The story is told from the point of view of Safiye, concentrating more on human relations than on palace politics. The director plays with mirror images to reflect the two faces of personalities and the complexities of intercultural relations. Mythology is blended with sexuality, emphasizing the delicate nuances of language. The exotic element is not abused and historical details are used sparingly and only when necessary. Acting by young French actress Marie Gillain, who plays Safiye, and Lucia Bose, who plays her in old age, as well as Alex Descas as the eunuch Nadir and famous Turkish actor Haluk Bilginer as Sultan Abdulhamid are all commendable. 52nd Cannes Film Festival, 1999. This film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/2003
  • UPC: 712267230327
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: Strand Home Video
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: Français, Italiano
  • Time: 1:50:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Marie Gillain Safiye
Alex Descas Nadir
Lucia Bosé Old Safiye
Valeria Golino Anita
Malick Bowens Midhat
Christopher Aquilon Sumbul
Serra Yuilmaz Gulfidan
Haluk Bilginer Abdulhamit
Technical Credits
Ferzan Ozpetek Director, Screenwriter
Mauro Bonanni Editor
Bruno Cesari Art Director
Tilde Corsi Producer
Aldo De Scalzi Score Composer
Pivio De Scalzi Score Composer
Alfonsina Lettieri Costumes/Costume Designer
Pasquale Mari Cinematographer
Gianluca Mazzella Asst. Director
Gianni Romoli Screenwriter
Stefano Savino Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [7:33]
2. Beginning of the Story [9:23]
3. Palace Life [12:02]
4. Going to See the Sultan [10:59]
5. You're Never Alone [9:41]
6. New Girl [8:47]
7. An Heir [5:23]
8. Poisoned [7:07]
9. Beginning of the End [7:30]
10. Going Away [14:39]
11. New Life [7:02]
12. Three Apples [4:36]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Trailers
      Steam
      His Secret Life
      Cockettes
      Burnt Money
   Original Theatrical Trailer
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