Die Fremde



What would you sacrifice for your family’s love? Your values? Your freedom? Your independence? German-born Umay flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem with her. She is hoping to find a better life with her family in Berlin, but her unexpected arrival creates intense conflict. Her family is trapped in their conventions, torn between their love for her and the values of their community. Ultimately they decide to return Cem to his father in Turkey. To keep her son, Umay is forced to move again. She finds the inner strength to build a new life for her and Cem, but her need for her family’s love drives her to a series of ill-fated attempts at reconciliation. What Umay doesn’t realize is just how deep the wounds have gone and how dangerous her struggle for self-determination has become ...

Director's Statement

We live in a multicultural society, which can no longer simply promote consensus but must find new ways to get around arising divergence. That will only suceed with ongoing dialogue and by allowing ourselves to be being guided by our similarities rather than by our differences. My belief is that a harmonious coexistence is possible if we, in the name of empathy, grow beyond the shadows of our principles and convictions. This theme is universal, as it affects all of us, whether it is people who love one another or people who share a society, a country or a planet and therefore are a community. What could possibly be stronger than our love for our children? Tradition? Culture? Religion? What happens if we are stuck in a system of rules, set by others, that would not let us follow our hearts and stand by our children? WHEN WE LEAVE is a call for self-determination as much as it is a cry to never let anything be stronger than our loyalty and empathy for those we love. For thats all we have: our hands that reach out for one another.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Feo Aladag, Feo Aladag

Written by: Feo Aladag, Feo Aladag

Produced by: Feo Aladag, Feo Aladag, Züli Aladag

Cinematography: Judith Kaufmann

Editing: Andrea Mertens

Production Design: Silke Buhr

Original Score: Max Richter

Cast: Sibel Kekilli, Serhad Can, Settar Tanriögen, Nursel Köse, Derya Alabora, Nizam Schiller, Tamer Yigit, Florian Lukas, Alwara Höfels, Almila Bagriacik

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 2010
  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2010
  • Feature Film Selection 2010