Pembe Mentesh, an Australian born Cypriot, once relocating to Cyprus, sets out to find out the fate of her great aunt Fetine, who was forced into marriage at a young age, and sent to Palestine, never to be seen again.
When Pembe begins a search to find missing Fetine, her plight and that of hundreds of other girls from the Turkish community of Cyprus who left under similar circumstances during the decade of 1930 is explored.
Fetine was forced into marriage because she, as a woman, had no say. She as a woman, had to obey her family’s decision and despite her rebellion did as they said. Fetine went and married the man chosen for her but Fetine did not merely submit. Fetine rebelled in every way she could. She always sought a better life for herself and her children.
Pembe Mentesh, her great niece, despite her family’s disapproval, seeks to find her great aunt and travels far and wide in order to make amends, to fill the void of her missing relative and to fulfill the need to know what happened.
Pembe inspires us all to not accept the easy way out and to follow our instincts when in need of the truth. Her courage and passion not only allowed her family to look at things from a different perspective but encouraged many other families to seek their missing loved ones.
“I was 7.5 months pregnant when we first started filming for this documentary. It was not the ideal time to start production of a feature length film, but when things come together as they did, I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity. There was a missing generation of women that was not being sought after and I was intent on finding out more. Why were these women married off in exchange for money? Why did so many families lose contact with these girls? Why did so many die without seeing their family and their birthplace ever again? And above all why was this not spoken of in our community?
…When my close friend Pembe Mentesh posted a help message on Facebook looking for information about her great aunt, I knew that it was the right time to find the answers to all my questions. This film is both personal and investigative. It follows Pembe’s personal need to find her aunt and the means of locating her in the Middle East. Pembe, despite the decades long disappearance of her aunt, works tirelessly to not only track her down but to shed light on the reason why she was forced into marriage and why she was not sought after.”