Female empowerment biopic ‘Bergen’ finds success in Mideast cinemas

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DUBAI: Musical biopic “Bergen” has hit new heights in the Middle East and is being touted by theater chain Vox Cinemas as the most successful Turkish movie screened in the region

The biopic has reportedly garnered more than 371,000 admissions across eight markets in five weeks, breaking box office records. The film has also made history by being the first Turkish movie to be released in Saudi cinemas, according to Vox Cinemas.

“Bergen” tells the true-life story of the eponymous singer and her transformation from a promising cello player to a world-famous singer in the 1980s. Known as “The Queen of Arabesque,” she garnered a cult following and fought to continue performing despite enduring a violent relationship with her husband, who ultimately shot and killed her in 1989.

Directed by Caner Alper, “Bergen” stars Farah Zeynep Abdullah in the lead role and is currently showing across cinemas in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon and Oman.

According to Variety, the film sparked heightened awareness of the government’s treatment of perpetrators of femicide after the country left the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty that requires signatories to counter violence against women, in 2021.