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When We Leave

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A German-born woman flees from her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her son with her. She hopes to find a better life with her family in Berlin, but her unexpected arrival creates intense conflicts. Her family is trapped in their conventions; they're torn between their love for her and the traditional values of their community. German Actress, Feo Aladag makes her sensational directorial debut in this heartbreaking drama. Germany's Official Selection for the 2010 Academy Awardsr.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sibel Kekilli, Nizam Schiller, Derya Alabora, Settar Tanriogen, Florian Lukas
  • Directors: Feo Aladag
  • Writers: Feo Aladag
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, Anamorphic, NTSC
  • Language: German, Turkish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004RE29XG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film when it was in the cinema a few months ago. I'm a big fan of foreign films and this one literally left me breathless....not with excitement , but because I felt like all the air had been knocked out of my body by the plot twists. Just when one thinks s/he has figured out the plot... beware! The elliptical plot slowly unfolds as the main character, Umay, a Turkish woman raised in Germany, decides she has to leave an abusive husband. She flees Turkey and takes their son, and heads back to her own family, who are Turkish gastarbeiter/guest workers, living in Germany. It isn't long until she reveals that she's not just there for a vacation or brief visit. The reaction of her various family members and that of her husband's family represent a cultural difference that Westerners find incomprehensible. It is as if Umay is going against all the powers of the universe, but her strength and persistence represent a female character that one rarely sees in cinema these days, whether the film is made in Hollywood or anywhere else. I wont spoil the plot , but will say it's not going to end like one might imagine... and the film is a very important one for the statement it makes about the concept of family honor and its limits ought to be, and the clash of cultures, effects of and resistance to assimilation of immigrants in a foreign country. Ultimately, it also raises the question of where these values come from... do they come from Islam itself, or from tribal traditions formed over millenia? My friend who saw the movie with me is a social anthropologist and she said she will require this film to be viewed by all her students in the coming academic year. Any film lover should see this movie. The lead actors do a terrific job , and they're probably unknown to American audiences. It's refreshing to see new faces, especially when they communicate such powerful messages to the audience. I highly recommend this film.
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Format: DVD
I am generally speaking a buff of foreign and indie movies, and when I saw this in the foreign movie section at my local library, I picked it up, knowing very little about the movie. I must say I was unprepared for what I was about to watch.

"When We Leave" (terrible movie title; originally titled in German "Die Fremde" or "The Alien"; originally releases in 2010; 119 min.) brings the story of a Turlish married woman getting out of a domestic abusive relationship. She takes her young son and moves back to Germany, where the rest of her family is (Turkish immigrants in Berlin). You might think that seeking help from her family would be a good move, but you might be wrong. Because she is considered to "belong" to her husband, no matter what, she brings dishonor on her own family. Things get from bat to worse: she is beaten, harrassed, threatened, etc. Not to mention that her son is also deemed to "belong" to his father, and so she needs to protect him from being kidnapped BY HER OWN PARENTS AND SIBLINGS. With family like that, who needs enemies? I won't spoil the outcome of how it plays out, but I'm not spilling any secrets that this is not your typical Hollywood fare, where you just know there will be a happy ending. Doom and gloom persist throughout.

This is one of the best movies that I have seen this year, and I've seen quite a few. I can't help but feel so sorry for millions of women whose happiness apparently is utterly irrelevant, and where the family's "honor" takes precedence over anything and everything, This movie won a bunch of awards in 2010-11, although amazingly it was not nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film. Lead actress Sibel Kekilli is simply outstanding (shw won the German equivalent of the Oscar for this performance). By all means, do not miss a chance to see this movie! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Format: DVD
The cover of this DVD release of Die Fremde (When We Leave) says a lot about the film' the Turkish (or Muslim) way of saying hello or goodbye to an elder is kissing the hand and touching the hand to the forehead. It introduces the fact that this two hour film deals with ancient thought patterns about the slavery of a wife to her husband and the inability to place the welfare and happiness of a family member above the outdated and cruel concept of `family honor' in a community. It is a harsh film to experience but a significant reminder of how retrogressive so much of our society remains. Sadly, the film is based on a documented case of an honor killing in a Turkish community in Germany.

In awarding the film Best Narrative Feature Award, and Best Actress Award for Sibel Kekilli, the Tribeca Film Festival Narrative Jury said of the film: "WHEN WE LEAVE examines one woman's struggle for personal freedom. It is a riveting and heartbreaking story of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, who must not only free herself from that marriage, but also the cultural prejudices and judgments that would keep her there. Writer/director Feo Aladag built the nuances of her film over a six year period. She rehearsed her actors for seven months. She immersed herself in every detail of a culture that is revealed to us in remarkable detail. The result is a film that balances complex social issues with honest human yearnings. Through the brutality, WHEN WE LEAVE is also a story of tenderness, the struggle for compassion, the inexorable pull of family and the need to love and be loved." German-born Umay (Sibel Kekilli) flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem (Nizam Schiller) with her.
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