Turks Fruit by Jan Wolkers

What the critics say…

Translation of Hans Schoots’s (film critic De Volkskrant, Het Parool etc.) essay on “The Sex Wave in Dutch Cinema”.

Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit) showed how open, explicitly sexual themes can play an integral and accepted role in a ‘normal’ film. The audience has almost no other choice but to choose the side of freedom against the narrow-mindedness of Olga’s family. Turkish Delight was the only Dutch film that in some way actualized the cinematographic ideals of the sexual revolution, poignantly summarized by film historian Linda Williams: “A few liberal journalists, porno directors and stars began to speak enthusiastically about a utopian future where porn movies would become real movies in which sexually explicit activities would be –in a natural manner- integrated into narrative films, not to provide for the porno industry’s required number of money shots, but instead to expand the representative power of the medium into the domain of sexuality. In this imagined future pornography in its current state would disappear, porno stars would make the cross-over to the mainstream, and respected actors would realize and accept that performing sexual acts would be considered part of their craft.”

Naturally Turkish Delight wasn’t a ‘hardcore’ film and it contained no ‘real sex’ in a literal sense, but there were rather explicit scenes which proved that sex could be portrayed as commonplace and in a convincing way integrated in a mainstream film which had a real story.

Turkish Delight contained a lot of sex but it wasn’t seen as a sex film. It spoke primarily to the emotions of the audience and it eluded the impression of something of a combination between hardness and sensitivity, a film of large gestures as well as subtleties.  This was possible, above all, because no one doubted the intensity of Eric’s love for Olga. There were some rather raw scenes, in the film, like the wedding ceremony with pregnant brides and blood on the wedding dress and the dog that leaps up on the chair and cheerfully licks up the remains. That so many Dutch people bought what this story was selling, illustrates its power.