Umay is a young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life in Germany against the resistance of her family. Her struggle initiates a dynamic, which results in a life-threatening situation.
With the intention to break free from the strict familial restrictions, a suicidal young woman sets up a marriage of convenience with a forty-year-old addict, an act that will lead to an outburst of envious love.
Jesper is a soldier in the German army. Although his brother was killed whilst serving in Afghanistan, he nevertheless reports for a new tour of duty in this war zone. He and his unit are ... See full summary »
What a Man: The young teacher Alex is abandoned by his girlfriend Caroline and therefore begins a journey in search of himself. But how he overcomes the pitfalls out there for a modern man? And what is it that makes a man a man?
September 1980. Mustafa 'Mehmet Ali Alabora' and his wife, who're both laborers are married for 5 years. The couple has nothing to do with politics and spend their days happily with their 3... See full summary »
Memet Ali Alabora,
Benjamin is a 16 year old, paralyzed on one side of his body, with lousy grades in math, who switches to a boarding school to reach grammar school. Acclimatization to the new environment is... See full summary »
German-born Umay flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem with her. She hopes to find a better life with her family in Berlin, but her unexpected arrival creates intense conflict. Her family is trapped in their conventions, torn between their love for her and the traditional values of their community. Ultimately they decide to return Cem to his father in Turkey. To keep her son, Umay is forced to move again. She finds the inner strength to build a new life for herself and Cem, but her need for her family's love drives her to a series of ill-fated attempts at reconciliation. What Umay doesn't realize is just how deep the wounds have gone and how dangerous her struggle for self-determination has become...Written by
Independent Artists Filmproduktion
Feo Aladag wrote and directed this movie after participating in Amnesty International's "Violence Against Women" campaign, and feeling like she had more to explore in the subject of honor killings. See more »
Within 30 seconds of the film's opening scene, we know we're entering a complex, and very real world.
Later we see Umay, our lead character, lying on a doctor's table and we immediately fall in love with her. There is something magical and loving about the way the camera moves around her. That's all the character development we need, but this heroine (and I mean this in a literal sense; Umay, to me, is a hero in the best sense of the word) continues to evolve and reveal amazing traits in a complicated situation that mere mortals would fold under.
This Turkish film is about familial bonds, deep and abiding love and human rights. It attempts to bridge the gap between traditional cultures and their inherent focus on family as one's primary means of survival, and post-industrial (Western) culture in which human rights and dignity are of paramount importance.
'When We Leave' reminds us westerners of what we sacrificed in the name of economic and political progress while illuminating what is now, to us, a little-understood truth: The "Old Days" weren't always "The Good old Days."
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. Sibel Kekilli's performance as Umay must be the finest role, male or female, of the entire year. And what a face! One could watch the entire film with no audible dialog and be transfixed throughout by this wonderful actor's countenance. Too bad she won't be considered for a Oscar!
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