Turkish Delights: The Istanbul Filmfest
As few other cities, Istanbul is its geography: spanning two continents, itís a cosmopolitan cappuccino, where the whipped cream of the West barely covers the darker brew of the Islamic East. The festivalís base is Beyoglu, a 19th century area and a long-standing nexus of urban sophistication on the European side of the Bosporus, and most of the festivalís venues are lined up along its main drag, Istiklal Caddesi. Here, thoroughly modern Mehmets file past the brightly lit Benetton and Diesel store windows, instant-messaging on their cellulars, but so do women with Islam-prescribed covered heads and bodies, while Kurdish urchins, high on sniffed glue, swarm underfoot, begging you to buy packs of tissues -- or just begging.
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