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Bliss (2007)

Ozgu Namal , Murat Han , Abdullah Oguz  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ozgu Namal, Murat Han, Talat Bulut
  • Directors: Abdullah Oguz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Turkish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002U4F5W2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,682 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bliss" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adapted from internationally acclaimed author Zulfu Livaneli's novel, BLISS is an unconventional road movie in which the executioner of an honor killing and his victim go on a journey of self-discovery.

When 17-year-old Meryem (Ozgu Namal) is found disheveled and unconscious by the side of a lake, her family believes the worst - that her chastity has been lost and that she has been a willing accomplice in its disposal. They turn to the ancient principle of "tore," a strict moral code governing the rules of sexual practice, which condemns Meryem to death. The duty of defending the family's honor is given to distant cousin Cemal (Murat Han), who must take Meryem to Istanbul and kill her along the way.

The two begin to fall for each other and their journey takes an unexpected turn when they meet Irfan (Talat Bulut), an academic escaping his big city angst, who is also looking for a second chance in life. Set against the impressive backdrop of Turkey's natural wonders, BLISS pits tradition against modernity, urban against rural and East against West, all the while refusing to settle for easy answers.


Critic's Pick! "A panoramic allegory of Turkish national identity, beautifully acted... this consistently gripping, visually intoxicating film stands as a landmark of contemporary Turkish cinema." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Powerful adaptation of Omer Zulfu Livaneli's politically trenchant novel... extraordinary pain and beauty. --Betsy Sharkey, The Los Angeles Times

{5 STARS}! Oguz's narrative is just as crystalline as the Aegean Sea he opulently photographs... Bliss is wonderful storytelling through and through. --Justin Strout, Orlando Weekly

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honor Crime Movie November 17, 2009
This is an excellent movie based on a book by the same name about a beautiful Turkish girl who is found to be "tainted" (she was actually raped)& is placed in a barn with a noose while people, including her hateful stepmother, expect her to hang herself. The girl refuses, and, instead, is sent to Istanbul with her male cousin who is supposed to "finish the job" there. I can't tell you anything else because it would spoil the movie, but there's an interesting relationship that develops between the cousins and a forward-thinking university professor who is disillusioned with his life. Stunning shots of Turkey included.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complex Look at Honor Killings June 22, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bliss is a film about the status and symbolic value of a woman in some Moslem cultures. It is a status so low that they can be murdered by their family if someone rapes them. Meryam is such a woman. After being viciously raped and lacking the money or education to flee her fate, she is forced to follow the son of her father's cousin, Cermal, to Istanbul, where he has been ordered to kill her. This could have easily turned into a bash Islam movie, instead, it becomes a character study of people caught between the modern Islamic world of Istanbul and the brutal rural customs of the remote countryside.

Though Meryam is the central figure in the story and we certainly feel her anguish, the story focuses as much if not more on Cermal. She has already been tested by emotional adversity and forced to break with her culture as the story opens. Cermal's journey is just beginning. The ruse designed to hide the real intention behind the trip is going to visit their relatives in Istanbul. The couple they visit have fled the village and its harsh authoritarian relationship between parent and child. They understand what Cermel is being asked to do, but their view of honor killing is at least tempered by whether the woman was guilty of putting herself "at risk" to be raped. While Cermal is still caught in the throes of his culture's black and white thinking, they can see the gray. What makes the film most interesting is not the plot, it is the growth and struggle of the characters as they are forced to adjust to a new culture that lacks rigid scripts. It is the careful unfolding of these characters and the baring of a humanity, hidden beneath layers of prescribed attitudes and behaviors, that takes this film from good to great.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic drama May 26, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Bliss" ("Mutluluk", in Turkish) is the story of a young woman from rural Turkey who is discovered, unconscious and partially disrobed, on the edge of a lake near her village. The movie follows the events subsequent to this discovery. The village is scandalized by the perceived sexual misconduct on the part of this woman and her punishment determines the course of the plot.

Acting was superb, with performances, in turn, heart-wrenching, funny and insightful. Cinematography was very good, showing off the Turkish countryside and the city of Istanbul well.

The DVD delivers audio in Dolby Pro Logic, and the extras are meager.

Note: This DVD employs the original Turkish language audio track, and provides English subtitles. We found the subtitles a bit small, making it challenging to read them on our old, admittedly past-its-prime CRT TV, but completely legible on our plasma set.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I would have missed this amazing film if not for it popping up as a suggested title on a movie rental website to which I subscribe. This movie (in Turkish with English subtitles) had such a profound impact on me that I am going to purchase it and try and get as many of my friends to watch it. The subject matter in "Bliss" or "Mutluluk" (it's Turkish title) is the practice of honor killing. This cruel and inhuman practice is prevalent in Middle Eastern countries, South Asian countries such as Pakistan, and yes, in Turkey. It is commonly practiced in traditional and fundamentalist Muslim societies, where a daughter's dishonor is regarded as one of the worst possible misfortune to befall a family - no matter if the daughter's dishonor was through no fault of her own, e.g. rape, molest, etc. The verdict in such cases is often a death sentence, not upon the perpetrator, but upon the daughter. I have read of young girls being beaten to death, drowned in the family pool, stoned to death, strangled, etc. A good read on this subject, amongst others is [[ASIN:0452283779 Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World, Newly updated].

The movie focuses on 17-year-old Meryem (a brilliant Ozgu Namal) who is found unconscious by the lake shore one morning in a state of dishevelment. Meryem lives in a small village in the Turkish countryside with her father, stepmother, and several other family members.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, gorgeous must-see movie March 6, 2011
Bliss the movie is based on Bliss, the book by Zulfu Livaneli. This is one of the best adaptations of a book I have ever seen while still being different.

As mentioned in other reviews, the movie is about a girl from a small village in Eastern Turkey who was raped. The leader of the village who is the uncle of the girl convinces her father that the girl is "tainted" and promiscuous and that she must be killed to keep honor in the village. It's obvious that the father does not want this, though his wife who has been a cruel stepmother to the girl does, but his cousin who is the richest man in the village and the head elder insists and he goes along because the girl cannot remember who attacked her (PTSD) and can't defend herself. The uncle orders his youngest son who just got out of his mandatory 2-year military service and who is suffering from PTSD himself to take his cousin to Istanbul to kill her because the murder can't take place near the village or the military which patrols near by would find out and arrest the murderer.

The son Cemal takes the girl Meryem to Istanbul by train to his brother and his wife in Istanbul. The brother who left the small village is estranged from the father and tries to dissuade Cemal from his father's orders. Later when Cemal does try to make Meryem jump from a bridge and she is about to, he finds that he can't let her do it and saves her. Now neither can return back to the village and Meryem is Cemal's responsibility.

The two eventually meet up with a rich professor/writer who has left his wife and rich lifestyle to sail around on a large boat along the Marmaris. He invites the two to work for him and live on his boat and all three learn about themselves from their encounters with each other.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind boggling adventure
Oh the thrill of stepping into another world that is very different from mine but evolving. This was a cultural feast that wasn't dumbed down with the addition of American... Read more
Published 1 month ago by dianewright
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film for cultural studies programs
Excellent film I have used for many years in my Intercultural Studies class. It brings emotional content to bear on the lives of rural Turkish villagers and starkly contrasts... Read more
Published 3 months ago by vipattie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. Heartbreaking at times
Amazing. Heartbreaking at times, sweet at others, grisly and intense as it rips open the issue of "honor" killings and what happens in their wake. Not to be missed.
Published 3 months ago by Madelynne Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful movie
Published 3 months ago by Carmen Z.
4.0 out of 5 stars It was beautifully handled, the acting superb
A very truthful, strong,sensitive movie about the very unjust practice of so called 'honour killing'.

It was beautifully handled, the acting superb. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Trish
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine film
I’m not sure how they came up with this title for a story about Meryem,a teenage rape victim in eastern Anatolia. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Joyce
5.0 out of 5 stars fast shipping
Fast shipping. Powerful movie. One of the best foreign films that I have seen in years. Strong female character in a society that doesn't encourage that.
Published 6 months ago by anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This movie is about the hideous was women are still treated. This treatment is kept on by the very perpetrators especially in isolated cultures where women have no voice to the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by gertibird
5.0 out of 5 stars When Innocence and evil collide.
When there is nothing else to do so that justice could be brought to set you free. When all circumstances goes against you, that there seems to be no way else to set free. Read more
Published 8 months ago by R. Okonkwo
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, beautiful film
The acting, music, cinematography, and message are all wonderful, with the added benefit of insights into Turkish culture, both traditional and modern. Read more
Published 8 months ago by M. J. Ingalsbe
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