sinecine ISSN: 1309-5838

Privacy Opened to the Public: Dancing Alone and The Social Critique of Voyeurism

Alleine Tanzen (Dancing Alone, 2012) directed by Biene Pilavcı, is a documentary film about a family that has been invited to face “its dark past” by a person who is a part of that past. Disclosure of extreme violence and sexual abuse that happened years ago in a family that migrated from Turkey to Germany is represented in live improvisations during the shooting of the film. Biene Pilavcı at the centre of the conflict in the film, is both its director and its subject. Approaching “Cinéma Vérité” in its form and the relationship it builds with its audience, the film points to a more extensive problem in that the “voyeurism” of the audience, who witness scenes of such strong social approbation, evokes an artificial disunity of subject and object at both an individual and a social level. From this point of view, the film makes a judgement that causes the audience to re-question the position of “voyeur” while watching scenes, from the outside, that should be private. This article explores the conflict that occurs from the disconnect of subject and object in terms of Lacan’s “mirror theory”, a form of poststructuralist criticism. It analyses concepts regarding the relationship between the audience and the film and, by conceptualising the cinema screen as a mirror, synthesises Lacan’s “mirror theory” and Zizek’s understanding of “voyerism”. Thus, the unity for which the film yearns is realized.
Keywords: Voyeurism, Lacan, mirror, public sphere-private sphere, crime, ethical.