sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Abstract – A Broken Story about the First Turkish Film: On the 100th Anniversary of Turkish Cinema

A Broken Story about the First Turkish Film: On the 100th Anniversary of Turkish Cinema

Abstract

The author argues that anecdotes about Ayastefanos’taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı (The Demolition of the Russian Monument at San Stefano), considered to be the beginning of the history of Turkish cinema, do not answer the questions of whether the demolition was filmed, who filmed it, and if, in fact, there ever was a film about it. She suggests that the film has become a Turkified myth of a beginning. In the context of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of Turkish cinema, she emphasizes the incompleteness of film studies that consider only domestic films. She also argues that the framework of film history should not be limited to films, directors, and actors and suggests a wider framework that encompasses the economic and social-cultural dimensions of cinema. In conclusion she underlines the necessity for a comprehensive historiography based on primary sources.