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When We Leave
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"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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding! Great insight into a serious cultural problem. Highly recommended.Published 9 months ago by Alvin P. Koeller
There is not much surprise to honor killing films, they can become predictable. The film carries a certain amount of suspense and some dramatic events. Read morePublished on July 15, 2012 by Amazon Customer
This movie explores so many issues and the acting, directing, soundtrack are all incredible. The main star is Sibel Kekilli, also from the movie Head-On, and she is outstanding,... Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by scott4
Sibel Kekilli. What else can I say? I mean, she completely took over all of my senses and delivered such a stroke of magnificence in this crushing film that I'm still awestruck... Read morePublished on March 5, 2012 by Andrew Ellington
A visually minimalist statement of a women and her son trying to escape the physical abuse of a husband, of a family, of a religion and of a culture thus eliciting the most... Read morePublished on September 6, 2011 by G. Teslovich