7.5/10
4,972
19 user 68 critic

When We Leave (2010)

Die Fremde (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 28 January 2011 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Feo Aladag

Writer:

Feo Aladag
30 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sibel Kekilli ... Umay
Nizam Schiller Nizam Schiller ... Cem
Derya Alabora Derya Alabora ... Halime
Settar Tanriögen ... Kader
Tamer Yigit Tamer Yigit ... Mehmet
Serhad Can Serhad Can ... Acar
Almila Bagriacik ... Rana
Florian Lukas ... Stipe
Nursel Köse ... Gül
Alwara Höfels ... Atife
Ufuk Bayraktar ... Kemal
Blanca Apilánez Blanca Apilánez ... Carmen
Rosa Enskat Rosa Enskat ... Manuela
Gümeç Alpay Aslan Gümeç Alpay Aslan ... Zeynep (as Gümec Alpay)
Ayla Arslancan Ayla Arslancan ... Ayten
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German | Turkish

Release Date:

28 January 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Estrangeira See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,018, 30 January 2011

Gross USA:

$19,631
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Germany's official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011. See more »

Connections

Features Biçak sirti (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Leave It All
Performed by Orenda Fink
(P) 2010 Colosseum Music Entertainment GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a film like a landmine, unfortunately close to the truth
6 September 2010 | by Radu_ASee all my reviews

The treatment of Muslim societies in the media in general and in film in particular has been subject to much agenda setting and bias. On the one hand, this has led to frequently arrogant defamation of the cultures of one fifth of humanity, on the other hand, the discourse has helped to highlight problems of Muslim integration which are often ignored under the convenient excuse of multiculturalism. What is more important: respect for other cultures living among us or concern for the plight of the individual subjected to an excessive chauvinism that allows for nothing but submission to it?

Feo Aladag's position on this is clear, but she avoids simplifications by sticking to one woman's story, and keeping that story close, while not identical, to the events that inspired it - namely the much publicized 2005 murder of Hatun Sürücü in Berlin, albeit with a surprising twist. Some may find the depictions of a regressive macho cult in German-Turkish families and social life exaggerated, especially since the acting of the supporting cast is a bit shaky at times. But as someone who has lived in a Turkish neighborhood in Berlin, I have to declare it's not. It's disturbingly close to the truth - not the distorted truth of tabloids, but the truth of people I'm close to.

The minimalistic approach of the film would usually render it a rather harmless affair, in spite of its controversial subject matter - were it not for Sibel Kekilli's outstanding performance, for which she received, among other awards, best actress at the Tribeca festival. Her heartfelt, knowing and yet forgiving gaze at the suffocating world she lives in speaks of personal experience with the role she portrays. 'When we leave' establishes her as the most exciting German actress of today.

It should be noted, by the way, that Islamic law does not condone honorary murders and considers these just as much as crimes as Western law does. Also, this practice is not exclusive to Muslim societies, but used to be widespread in Christian countries as well, where it might still occur as a justification for homicide. But these clarifications could not have been included in this film, which tells one story, and tells it well.


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