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.
World Premiere at Visions du Réel 2020 - International Competition (link)
"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"
"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
Directed and Edited by Eytan İpeker
Supported by CNC and Tënk & Mediapart (France), New Film Fund (Turkey)
Pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest MeetMarket 2018
Istanbul Meetings on the Bridge 2019 (Color Up Award)