When we leave

When we leave

DVD - 2011 | German
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"Captivating!"--Elle Magazine.
"One of the best movies I have ever seen! A remarkable achievement! You must see this film!"--Huffington Post.
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 are torn between their love for her and the traditional values of their community.
Publisher: [United States] : Olive Films, 2011.
Edition: Widescreen ed.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 115 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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c
ceiligh
Sep 01, 2015

A powerful and emotional ride throughout the film.
Brilliant performance by lead actress.
Should have won Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

n
Nursebob
Dec 31, 2014

On a busy street a woman walks hand-in-hand with a small child when a young man comes up behind her. Turning around to face him she begins to smile in recognition just as he levels a gun at her head. So begins Feo Aladag’s engrossing drama which pits familial obligation against an individual’s right to self-determination. Told in flashback, the story centres on twenty-five year old Umay who, despite being born into a Moslem household, was raised in a wholly secular Germany. Now living in Turkey with a violent and abusive husband the headstrong Umay gathers up her small son Cem one day and moves back to her parents’ house in Berlin. Determined that neither she nor her son will ever return to the life they led in Istanbul Umay is indignant when her family seem more concerned with losing face in the community than the bruises on her body. Viewing her marriage certificate as a statement of ownership her father insists she return to her husband; after all, he reasons, “the hand that strikes is also the hand that soothes...” At odds with her parents and siblings, especially her oldest brother who is particularly furious after she flees to the safety of a women’s shelter, Umay sets out on her own. But when she begins an affair with a German boyfriend it proves to be the proverbial last straw... With meticulously drawn characters that never descend to stereotypes Aladag addresses the issues surrounding so-called “honour killings” from every possible angle. Although completely justified in desiring a better life, Umay is unable to truly appreciate the effect her actions are having on her orthodox parents. Her German girlfriend on the other hand can’t believe she’s not taking a more forceful stance against her older brother’s aggressive threats. And despite having her own dreams crushed when she got married years before, her mother can only shake her head sadly when her daughter pleads for understanding. Lastly, a Turkish businesswoman provides the only voice of reason while Umay’s younger brother Acar, perhaps the most pivotal character in the story, is torn between love for his sister and the nebulous concept of “family honour” being beaten into him by his father and brother. There are no easy answers here, and a bleakly ironic ending is as senseless as the cultural misogyny that precipitated it.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Jul 20, 2014

This is a well-acted film with a story, a story of personal struggle to gain freedom, to tell. However, certain elements in the film appeared to be tilted toward sentiment rather reality. Playing the cards of cultural differences in modern-day Germany needs to be done right to convince the audience. I was not totally convinced by certain aspects of the story. The ending is also puzzling, with the death of the most unlikely victim. Turkish and German with subtitles.

KRockstar10 Apr 22, 2013

Wow. Very well-acted, although a bit long. It's a shame that these sorts of things still happen. Fun fact: the actress who plays Umay actually is a Turkish/German Muslim who was disowned by her parents. Fun Fact #2: She also plays Shae on Game of Thrones. Now I know where the accent comes from!

c
coalbanks
Apr 11, 2013

Shakespeare as the Turks would have written Romeo and Julliette, Othello, Shylock,

Froster Jan 09, 2013

“When We Leave” overstays its welcome. The first hour or so is a riveting, realistic portrait of what it’s like for a traditional Turkish Islamic woman to defy her husband and strike out on her own, gradually discovering the hell that her family and community in Germany will make of her life. Unfortunately the filmmaker is not content enough with that, and decides to “up the ante”, tipping the whole schmear into melodrama and bathos. This becomes a manipulative mess, after an extremely promising start. Pity.

g
gemini07
Dec 28, 2012

Terrific movie. Interesting account of the complexities of culture, traditions and clash of cultures. Emotional and powerful.

voisjoe1 Dec 17, 2012

A Turkish woman, Umay, brutalized by her husband, flees to Germany with her young son. The family attempts to kidnap the son and bring him back to Turkey. The woman flees to her German friends, women’s safe houses, whatever, to attempt to live in peace. The male dominated society that the woman is from shows what lengths it will go to stop her from raising the son without the father. This was one of the most emotional films that I have seen this year.

2
22950009010265
Nov 07, 2012

Excellent movie. Sad story.

m
mexicanadiense
May 28, 2012

The subject of so-called "honour killings" is both very topical and very awkward to deal with in the pluralistic West these days. This film makes as good an effort as any to delve into the underlying cultural pressures behind the phenomenon with some decent performances and a no-holds-barred approach. Some of the plotting, alas, is too contrived to stand up to close scrutiny, and some of the protagonists choices do not seem to follow any sort of real logic. Well worth seeing and judging for yourself, however.

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gemini07
Nov 01, 2012

gemini07 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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