Doris Dory is a director, screenwriter, and writer. She knows a wide variety of Hollywood films in which male heroes embark on a hero’s journey. Women are not intended for this role. Doris Dore, who was born in Hanover and now lives in Munich, is constantly traveling by herself. In her new book, she dedicates herself to that leading role that she rarely says: “The heroine travels.” As a guest on NDR Kultur à la carte, I spoke about it with presenter Andrea Schwyzer.
You left yourself early and traveled. Are there those moments where you say: But I’m a bit of a hero?
Doris Dory: I also try to dissect this concept of a hero in the book. I am very skeptical about this, because heroes always appear when there is a war. Then all of a sudden we’re talking about heroes. Now we can verify it very well, that we call Silinsky or Klitschko heroes because of the war in Ukraine. In fact, the times when we don’t need heroes are the most beautiful times, the quietest times. That’s why we haven’t talked about heroes for a long time. I am referring here to the way stories are told. There is an idea of a hero, i.e. the man who is the hero and who takes the so-called hero’s journey. And it always works the same way, the hero has to move away from home, where it is very boring. Then he comes to another foreign country and has to pass exams there. It is also tested in many things injustice and anger. Then he meets a dragon, and he has to kill the dragon and victoriously return home. You see it in all action movies, no matter what you’re watching, whether it’s Batman or Spiderman – it works that way everywhere.
I asked myself: What happens if a woman goes out? I think women’s stories don’t operate in a unique way, that women act in a way that is more intertwined in society, not run along with this fantasy of saving the world, but there are other things at stake. That this be put on a pedestal of glorification, crowned with glories, and coming home as the only great hero – I think that’s more of a manly way of getting around the world. These are the stories we tell about men. I have a feeling that we women can say things differently.
Do women travel better in company? Aren’t they made to travel alone?
Doris Dory: No, they do not necessarily travel the world alone or always in pairs. But then to establish relationships, and then really to look for encounters and see how I relate to the world? Maybe that’s something I’m really interested in who is also a model.
There’s also this story that you tell, about women in Istanbul who told you: “Why are you walking the streets alone? Save yourself in a women’s society! We don’t try to be with men often, let’s do what they want.” What is this view of the relationship between a man and a woman? Is it self protection? Is it indifference to men? Or is it perhaps a feminist position?
Doris Dory: You can see it this way, because it definitely wasn’t shaped by that romantic idea that we still have, to find the only guy who finds great love and shares everything with this guy. It also has to meet all expectations. They are clearly separated in other societies. This can also be more harmonious or less burdensome if one person does not have to do everything.
You too have been subjected to violence. We read that in your book “The Heroine’s Travel”. Violence by a man I’ve suppressed for a long time. It’s a very personal book, so we really get to know your weakness. What’s your reason for saying I just have to tell a story like this now?
Doris Dory: I had a feeling the inconsistencies mattered there, too. It may also benefit others to see someone who may be seen in public as particularly powerful and liberating. I have been told over and over that I am too strong. But this is only true to a very limited extent. That may be true of the movie site. I have strength there. But in my private life I wasn’t like that for long. Da zu zeigen, dass ich selbst von mir gedacht habe, dass ich sehr befreit und emanzipiert bin und natürlich mein Leben selber definiere und mich dennoch einer gewalttätigen Beziehung ausgesettzt hage be neg be nic de und tracking. I tried endurance, balance, healing and change. All those things that many women try. I found it probably worth talking about, just to show that he was very present in me.