Aynur, a German woman of Turkish descent, struggles for a free, self-determined life in the face of her family's opposition. Her brothers insult and threaten her, until she finally reports her oldest brother to the police.
Aynur, a German woman of Turkish descent, struggles for a free, self-determined life in the face of her family's opposition. Her brothers refuse to accept her lifestyle; insults and threats continue to escalate. Finally, the young woman reports her oldest brother to the police. She no longer feels safe at home, so she takes her child and moves in with a female friend. At the same time, the family is trying to find a wife for her brother, her future killer. They manage to discipline the young Turkish woman Melek, played by Evin, into becoming a strict, devout Muslim in the space of a few weeks. She is part of their plan, intended to take in and care for the little boy after Hatun is dead. And then the murder is committed.
Based on the life of Hatun "Aynur" Sürücü, who was murdered in 2005. See more »
As subtle as a hammer on the head - watch "When we leave" instead
Sibel Kekilli played a character inspired by Sürücü in the 2010 movie "When we leave", which was infinitely better than this one. That film's director Feo Aladag is herself of migrant origin, whereas Sherry Hormann is German and mostly known for television and romantic comedies. This explains the distinct lack of subtlety. "A regular Woman" has an artificial feel, whereas "When we leave" is a deep psychological view of a woman who has to go through such an ordeal. Kekilli's performance is the strongest of her career - she was cast for "Game of Thrones" after that - and mirrors her own life (she is of Kurdish origin, and her family cut her loose when she left the house). The actress here lacks charisma and goes through the motions like performing on a high school stage.
As someone who lived in Berlin and had many Turkish friends and relationships, I can confirm that everything in this film is factually true. It does, however, leave out the accompanying factors of this situation. For instance, the Kurds are a particularly close-knit community because of their persecution in Turkey; since Kurdish was forbidden in public use, there has been no higher education in that language. That explains why migrant Kurds often appear particularly traditional. Also, religious fanaticism is a way for them to connect to other Sunni Muslim expats who otherwise resent them, like Turkish nationalists. Given that the film does show how indoctrination in German mosques happens, this is a missed opportunity - one of many.
All in all, "A Regular Woman" recounts an important story in a lackluster, box-checking way that does not do Hatun Sürücü's legacy justice. There is a German phrase to describe well-meant, but overly zealous and therefore ineffective measures - "Holzhammermethode", using a wooden hammer. It sums up this film quite appropriately.
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