Photo: ‘Another Self’
‘Another Self’ has the style and pace of a classic soap opera that has been fitted with modern trappings. It is a series that is ingrained with the past, and while the audience views the main actors as early middle-aged individuals, these characters are still haunted by trauma from their youth. Despite the exceptional cast of actors, who were all in fact believable in their roles, the series becomes too hung up on the predictable. The show begins with a blunt yet effective introduction to the characters’ lives as we learn each of their own worst fears in the first episode. The dynamic between the three main characters is quickly established as the show portrays them as being fast friends who are deeply versed in the secrets of each other’s lives.
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While the show places each of the three Turkish women in equally differing and varying levels of severe life dilemmas, each character faces a world-changing collapse of the life that they once knew. By discovering a self-explorational guru, one of the main characters introduces this spiritual teacher to her friends who happen to be going through major life crises as well. ‘Another Self’ serves as a symbolic representation of the unspoken difficulties of life. It is able to achieve this by initially showing the normality of the three main protagonists’ lives, before they were faced with their life-altering issues. For one character, in particular, her life is in constant threat after she is informed that she has fallen back under the sickness of cancer. The use of an extremely deadly and realistic disease is paralleled next to the journey that this character must undergo to realize the simple fact that life is too short for self-pity!
‘Another Self’: Healing from Past Trauma
‘Another Self’ is based deeply on the idea of the personal necessity of healing from past trauma. This series links the idea that all the difficulties and traumatic events that one has experienced are locked away awaiting the right sensation or environment to trigger a memory. Based on this idea, this series views its characters in positions of life where they are each unhappy. Upon their own admission, they are stuck in their lives unable to free themselves from the constraints and poor decisions that they have made. Even more troubling are the characters within the series, cursed to find themselves in the worst situations due to factors out of their own control. At the beginning of the first episode, the audience watches as the main protagonist’s father is murdered in front of her while she was only six years old. This event defines part of her identity and it leads her to ask the following question, if people are even able to heal from their dark pasts? When the scene snaps back to the present, the audience learns that this now-grown character is sick with cancer. ‘Another Self,’ by creating a character that suffers from a most unfortunate fate, is able to show the viewer that even humans with the toughest lives can still find a way to grow and heal from their troubled pasts.
‘Another Self’: A Turkish Series that Depicts the Unspoken Difficulties of Life
‘Another Self’ not only delves into the topic of personal illness, but also the complications and difficulties that can be found in marriage. For two of the three main characters, these women are involved in relationships where there is a distinct lack of love and recognition. Despite their tumultuous bonds with their husbands, these women refuse to admit that their marriages are coming to an end. One of these women tolerates her partner having affairs on the side, due to the fact that she is not willing to stand the thought of losing her sole romantic connection. ‘Another Self’ in this way effectively paints the reality of life as a journey in which one should never sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of others. Part of the power of the series is drawn from its authenticity and full representation of Turkish society.
By remaining true to its cultural roots, the series comes across as more personal and genuine in every aspect of the mise-en-scene. Even when the characters are in the most basic of situations like having lunch, the way that scene is set is reflective of this filmic accuracy. This attention to detail by the filmmaker only further supports the deeper meanings and undertones of the series. By the audience being allowed to believe in the characters, as if they were real-life people, their scenarios and personal issues become representative of those of the audience. The viewers are able to project their own insecurities upon the show’s question of the past, and are led to consider the notion of whether they have dealt with their own personal troubles. In this way, the show succeeds and for a brief moment directs the audience to wonder if this series has the answer to all of their questions!
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Delves into the Concept of Generational Trauma
On top of the layered discussion that ‘Another Self’ creates relating to the issue of past personal trauma is the idea of individuals suffering from generational trauma. This is a concept that the series ‘Another Self’ heavily delves into, and while it doesn’t expressly condone the medical practice and use of this method of therapy as a solution to one’s problems, it does paint the spiritual guide within the series as an omniscient healer. In this way, ‘Another Self’ loses its sense of reality by so deeply integrating a questionable form of healing within a storyline that clearly portrays it as a certainty. The bias of the writer shines through and forces the audience to reconsider if they can still believe the story. The aspect of the healer’s interest in generational trauma also is largely predicated on opinion.
While it has been known that large communities and groups of people can experience generational trauma as a result of their ancestors’ mass suffering, the idea that an individual can be affected by the lives of their long-since passed family members is entirely questionable, as well as completely unprovable. This aspect of ‘Another Self’ begins to play a massive role in how each character begins to confront their healing, and is primarily responsible for losing the audience’s faith and trust in a storyline that is otherwise exceptionally developed stylistically. Overall, ‘Another Self’ fails due to its attention to unprovable details, while intending foremost to represent the true nature of reality and life.
Directors: Burcu Alptekin
By Thomas Jacobs
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.