“Die Fremde”, by Feo Aladag
Screened on 7 March, 2011
Difficult social issues related to women’s place in society and violence against women, including domestic violence and so-called “honour killings” motivated director Feo Aladag to make this film. It won several prizes in 2010, including the Lux Prize from the European Parliament, the Grand Prix at the International Film Festival Ghent and Label Europa Cinemas Prize at the Berlin Film Festival.
Synopsis: Umay, a young German woman of 25, flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul with her young son Cem and returns to her native Berlin. She hopes to build a better life there. But her unexpected arrival creates conflicts in her family which is torn between their love for her and the values of their community. They want to return Cem to his father in Turkey. To remain with her son, Umay moves again. Although she manages to build a new life, her need for her family’s approval and love drives her to a series of ill-fated attempts at reconciliation. She doesn’t realize the depth of the wounds or how dangerous her struggle for independence has become.
The film was preceeded by a debate on “violence against women” with representatives from UN Women, civil society and the European Union.