Hamam: Il Bagno Turco: “The first gay film that I have seen.”

Hamam: Il Bagno Turco

“I think Hamam: Il Bagno Turco (1997) was the first gay film that I have seen. It’s a Turkish-Italian film by Ferzan Özpetek and it’s quite a sensitive film. It tells the story of an Italian guy who goes to Turkey and he discovers there that he is actually attracted to men. He stays with a family that his aunt knew and he falls in love with their son, but of course there are some hidden difficulties in the family. It’s a very special film to me, because I was having difficulties with my family when it came to acceptance. After I had seen that film and in that same period things went out of control with my family and I decided to flee from the Netherlands. I moved to Australia and I even went to Istanbul, which is where this film takes place. The Italian guy is murdered in the end of the film and that is when the peace returns to the family and they are finally able to accept each other again. It is always as if something tragic needs to happen before people solve things and start loving each other again and that gets to me sometimes. Especially, since I am familiar with the culture displayed in this film. My message to people would be to love each other some more while you still can and try to solve things before anything tragic happens.”

Photo and story by Feargal Agard