Germany, Turkey


After working for 45 years in Germany as a Turkish Gastarbeiter, or guest worker, Hüseyin Yilmaz, now in his 70s, announces to his family that he has bought a house in Turkey and wants everyone to go back with him to renovate it. The family is not enamoured with the idea and a heated debate ensues. Adding fuel to the fire is the revelation of granddaughter Canan that she is pregnant from her English boyfriend, whom the family has no idea about. In order to comfort her six-year-old cousin Cenk, who was bullied on his first day at school for being a “foreigner,” Canan tries to cheer him up by telling him the fantastic story of how and why they all ended up in Germany, even though they aren’t Germans. They undertake a journey back in time to a wondrous place where a small Turkish family discovered a land populated by blond giants who ate pigs, where big rats on leashes were taken on walks, where water was called Coca-Cola, where people worshiped a little wooden figure on a cross, and where everyone spoke “gibberish” – a land called ALMANYA!

Director's Statement

A long time ago, we noticed that many people often found it very funny when we told them about our childhoods. For example, the fact that Nesrin was a Funkenmariechen [a traditional Rhineland carnival character], attended a Catholic primary school and fervently sang Catholic Church hymns every Wednesday at the church service. I, in turn, played the flute in a marching band and always spelled my name Jasmin until my second-grade schoolteacher foiled my attempts at deception and pointed out that my name was actually spelled Yasemin.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Yasemin Samdereli

Written by: Nesrin Samdereli, Yasemin Samdereli

Produced by: Andreas Richter, Ursula Woerner, Annie Brunner

Cinematography: The Chau Ngo

Editing: Andrea Mertens

Production Design: Alexander Manasse

Original Score: Gerd Baumann

Cast: Fahri Ogün Yardim, Ercan Karacayli, Lilay Huser, Siir Eloglu, Demet Gül, Aylin Tezel, Rafael Koussouris, Denis Moschitto, Petra Schmidt-Schaller, Vedat Erincin, Aykut Kayacik

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011