As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
Sign-up for Newsletter


CNN And Hello

Singing In The Rain



Back to Diary Index


The screening that night is in the largest cinema in Istanbul . Standing on the huge stage afterwards under a blinding spotlight, with an echoing microphone, makes it difficult to have an intimate exchange with the audience. But the questions have an urgent curiosity to them, and many of them concern Muslim identity. Did I know that the true definition of ‘jihad’ in Islamic philosophy is an internal struggle (as ‘He’ says at one point in the film) I am asked by two tall men who tower above me afterwards in the crowded foyer. When I answer in the affirmative their faces crease with relief. It is like a fairytale for us, they say, that an English woman could make this film. For my part, I am relieved that the film was meaningful to a mostly Muslim audience, and that they experienced it as respectful, despite its challenges to faith, marriage and morality.

In conversations with our distributors, guides and translators, the question of Eastern and European identity comes up again and again. I live in Asia and work in Europe , says one of them who lives and works on opposite sides of the Bosphorus. We in Turkey hold a difficult position, says another. We are surrounded by so many countries ( Iran , Iraq , Syria , Bulgaria , Greece , etc) and have been occupied or used by so many others (including the UK ). We are a mixture of the secular and the religious, of Eastern and Western points of view, cuisine, music and architecture.

Comment on this post

back next

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated