The Pageant, dir. Eytan İpeker, Documentary, 83 min, 2020
Every year since 2011, a unique beauty contest takes place in Haifa. The contestants are female survivors of the Holocaust. In the midst of this flashy spectacle sponsored by an Evangelical Christian organization, the personal traumas of the survivors remain as deep as ever. A documentary about how memory, politics and spectacle are interconnected.
Visions du Réel - International Feature Competition (World Premiere)
Sarajevo Film Festival - Documentary Competition
Jerusalem International Film Festival
Odessa International Film Festival - European Documentary Competition
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Istanbul Film Festival - National Documentary Competition
Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival - National Documentary Competition
Human Rights Film Festival Lugano
Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote
İstanbul Modern Sinema
"the film accuses without a word, in a very efficient and intelligent way, the radical strangeness — not to say the sweet obscenity — of its subject."
"offers a complex and nuanced look at the annual Miss Holocaust Survivor event."
"an eye for detail, especially uncomfortable ones"
"the movie’s lack of final ethical conclusion, in a situation where no definitive or even partial judgment seems possible, is what lingers"
"The Pageant reveals the inner mechanisms of the contest by gently depicting its visible manifestations. (...) The film keeps its focus resolutely on the 'spectacle' of the contest where the sufferings are being made to compete."
"Ipeker’s approach could not be better suited to his film’s flabbergasting subject", "profoundly ironic editing work"
"Ipeker deliberately creates associations that make you shiver"
"The Pageant (...) is able to use its feature-length to raise more of the troubling psychological aspects of the event, in a non-conclusive, humbly observational manner that never presumes to condemn the choices of its subjects."
Listed as one of the "Best Films of 2020" by Michael Sicinski
North American Distribution by Grasshopper Film
Worldwide Sales by Go2Films
Streaming at Mubi Türkiye
Directed and Edited by Eytan İpeker
Director of Photography: Itay Marom
Sound Design: Emmanuel Soland
Assistant Director: Elina Margolin
Producer’s Assistant: Amitai Pnini
Post-Production: ColorUp (Istanbul), Volte Film (Berlin)
Supported by CNC, Procirep-Angoa, Tënk & Mediapart (France), New Film Fund (Turkey)
Pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest MeetMarket 2018, Istanbul Meetings on the Bridge Work-in-Progress 2019 (Color Up Award)