Sometimes a day feels like 365 hours, young red-haired Reyhan states to her friend Leyla. The feeling is something they have in common, since both have had a lot of days lasting 365 hours in their lives. Those days came into their lives many years ago, when their fathers abused them sexually for the first time. The same fathers who by day took them to their hobbies and who still live with their mothers.
In Turkey, the disgrace of one brings disgrace for the whole family. Thus, it is hard to get abusers to be held accountable for their actions. Despite her mother’s objections and father’s death threats, Reyhan is determined to bring her father to the court. In a refuge in Istanbul, she meets Asya, who has also experienced domestic violence, and through Asya she meets Leyla. The women move in together, and piece by piece, they begin dealing with their trauma that has its tentacles stretched all the way to their DNA. For the first time, they experience how it feels to have someone believe their story and be there for them. In one of the film’s most harrowing scenes, they meet a woman whose small children have been abused by their father.
The partly re-enacted film is a piercing depiction of the imprints sexual abuse leaves on its victim. At the same time, it is a story of the women who will not victimise themselves, but instead want to fight against the patriarchy and the atmosphere of fear. Despite the heavy theme, the film is delicate in its aesthetics and eventually a story of friendship and hope. It builds trust in that one case at a time, justice will prevail.
Sissi Korhonen (translated by Sabriina Hietaniemi)
Eylem Kaftan is present in the screening of her film A Day, 365 Hours on Thu, Feb 1.