Pandemic Diary: Home Entertainment Binge

WIFI is everything I’ve got to entertain my bored mind now. My house in countryside doesn’t have this limitless internet connection so I kind of hate living there. All I can enjoy is the vast skyview and fresh air but definitely I can’t work there. Like getting transported back to the early 20th century. Radio is my one and only savior.

So here I am stuck in my room with a laptop and WIFI.

Netflix is not on the menu because I want to curtail unnecessary expenses.

Free entertainment content is everywhere to find on the web. And I always have tubitv in my sleeve.

Damla Sönmez as Sibel

“Sibel” (2018) might be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen during this pandemic.

It tells us about isolation, being an outcast, and rejected by the rest of humankind.

Sibel is a Turkish girl who is mute and badass enough to shoot any creatures with a rifle. She isn’t a tomboy. She wears her hair long and wavy. She is skinny, far from Xena the Warrior Princess’ looks and tough appearance. But she has her own definition of strength and courage.

Her one and only sister is a rebel and sees her more as someone that puts shame on their family reputation. Their father is a village head and a well-off widower. He owns a shop and the house is more than luxurious.

But Sibel, out of her determination to show her usefulness and strength to the entire village, spends her time out there in fields working as a menial worker.

What is even more horrible is the fact that she is bullied in every possible ways by women around her at work. At one time, she is even beaten. Sibel doesn’t fight back. If she fought back, these old ladies may have been injured badly.

To add to her misery, she cannot shout her frustration. There are scenes when she could not contain her anger and angst after being mistreated by people around her, and she dashed off the woods only to open her mouth. Not even a word was heard because she is a mute. It’s worse than being silenced. Because at least, if you are silenced, you still have your voice.

Sibel does find her own voice after she runs into Ali, a fugitive. At first they fight against each other. Sibel thinks Ali is a wolf she is hunting for so long to prove to the villagers. But Ali thinks Sibel is an armed villager who hunts him to be dragged to the policemen who are roaming the Black Sea area to capture terrorists.

Ali is not a terrorist. At least, he introduces himself as a man from a neighboring village who refuses to be drafted and go to war. He seems to be a pacifist.

Being a mute girl, Sibel never has any romantic experience with men. But with Ali, she starts to discover such feelings as they get closer and intimate. They talk and Ali also learns how to communicate with her by whistling, a language deveoped by the locals there. They seem to be a perfect couple. Both are outcasts. Both are pariahs for their own terms. But they also find strength in each other.

But alas, the police know the hut where Ali is hiding. Sibel wants to help Ali escape by stealing an identity card for him but Ali never shows up. He is simply gone with the wind.

It’s hard to be in her shoes. For once in a lifetime, Sibel finds someone who can understand her and cares about her but it doesn’t last long. Too short. But their bonds are already too deep.

And Sibel gets furious about the loss. Even worse, she is hugely disappointed that her father, a figure she respects, is now looking down on her just like everyone else.

I initially think she might break into pieces but I am wrong. Sibel is too strong to break. She finds her strength again.

For a minute, I wonder if I could just borrow her strength and determination. To find my strength again and emerge stronger and better after the pandemic isolation. (*/)

Sibel and Ali (Erkan Kolçak Köstendil)

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