Sabahat Filmer

Balan, Canan

Sabahat Filmer’s name remains largely unknown today despite her dedication to the early film industry, women’s movement, and the nationalistic struggle in Turkey as well as her important role as one of the founders of an early film company there. According to Sabahat’s own words, her involvement with cinema began in 1918 during the occupation of Istanbul by the British, French,Italian, and Greek armies after the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I (S. Filmer, Atatürk 34). The late 1910s was also the period in which the women’s movement became largely Muslim and Turkish, compared to earlier decades, in the Ottoman lands (Özdemir 291-325). Filmer, who self-identified as a Turkish secular nationalist, was an active member of the Society of Modern Women, which was established in the 1910s (S. Filmer, Atatürk 44). Given all this, it is not surprising that her pioneering work in the early film industry in Istanbul is bound up with her efforts in the women’s liberation movement as well as the nationalist struggle for independence.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
April 14, 2023