Nur eine Frau [A Regular Woman] (2019)

Nur eine Frau
Director: Sherry Hormann
Writer: Florian Öller
Based on: Matthias Deiß and Jo Goll’s book Ehrenmord: Ein deutsches Schicksal about the murder of Aynur Sürücü
Cast: Almila Bagriacik, Rauand Taleb, Aram Arami, Meral Perin, Mürtüz Yolcu, Armin Wahedi Yeganeh, Jacob Matschenz, Merve Aksoy, Mehmet Atesci
Seen on: 16.5.2019

Aynur (Almila Bagriacik) is only a teenager when she is married to a man she barely knows in Turkey. When he turns out to be abusive, she escapes and returns to her parents (Meral Perin, Mürtüz Yolcu) in Germany. But her parents aren’t happy with Aynur’s actions. As Aynur attempts to build a new life for herself and her child, the relationship with her parents and her brothers remain very tense.

Nur eine Frau is a well-made, sometimes a little over-directed film that tells an interesting story and tells it well.

The film poster showing Aynur (Almila Bagriacik) in red and black.

It is a pity, and probably the film’s biggest flaw, that the people behind the camera are neither Turkish, nur Muslim, at least in the key roles. It would have been good for the film to come more from the inside perspective. At least theycast them in front of the camera. And the cast was really very good, above all Bagriacik.

That being said, they do manage to tell the story pretty well (say I, a white, non-Turkish non-Muslim). Most importantly, they manage to show the dangers of radicalization without condemning all Muslims, Muslim faith in general or pretending that all Muslims are radicals. Instead they shed light on the systemic issues and constraints. And Aynur is never a helpless victim, meaning that the film stays away from any (white) savior nonsense.

Aynur (Almila Bagriacik) and Tim (Jacob Matschenz) almost kissing.

Partly the film is set in scene with quick series of still photographs. Sometimes that feels a little forced, but it did lead to my favorite moment in the entire film: when Aynur’s father is praying as Tarkan is playing loudly, underscoring the similarities of dance and prayer. Plus, Yolcu has such a fantastic, expressive face.

At times, the film pushes the drama a bit too hard, but overall, it is well-executed, and ultimately a harrowing tale of the problems of patriarchal structures – no matter if they are German or Turkish, Christian or Muslim.

Aynur (Almila Bagriacik) getting hugged by her mother

Summarizing: worth seeing.

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