In the opening scenes of Pelin Esmer’s heartwarming documentary, the elegant and the quotidian are superbly intertwined. The tranquil sight of a gaggle of older ladies having fun with a seaside dip is juxtaposed with a hanging view of the Roman amphitheatre overlooking the deep blue ocean. Unassuming in look, the ladies rapidly rework into thespians, taking up the traditional web site and making it a rehearsal area for an novice manufacturing of King Lear. Coming from an impoverished rural background, this unlikely peasant-women theatre troupe brings the magic of Shakespeare to distant Turkish villages the place even the fundamental staple of drinking-water is nonexistent.
Their performances typically happen on college playgrounds, and are rudimentary when it comes to costuming and staging. Carrying their very own garments, the ladies give Shakespeare a regional otherworldliness. And alongside the evident communal pleasure impressed by such occasions, the off-stage interactions between the performers and the villagers are equally fascinating. Zeynep, who performs Lear, confides her youthful hope of turning into a nurse, which was was rapidly quashed by her father’s order that she should stick with elevating goats. Performing has ignited a transformative sense of confidence in Zeynep, nonetheless. And the younger lady she confides in has her personal dream of educating, although her future appears unsure.
The movie’s freewheeling construction makes for a terrific intimacy with its topics but it surely doesn’t assist the viewer with the bodily orientation of occasions, particularly not these unfamiliar with the native geography. Nevertheless, although modest when it comes to visuals and scope, Queen Lear is an endearing ode to the collective energy of artwork and a refined name for gender equality in Turkey.