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Women from three generations talk about their relationship to Kurdish origins, the political situation in Turkey, and their life in Berlin. Serpil Turhan’s documentary is full of a desire to let them breathe more freely.

presser It is the name of Serbil Turhan’s new movie, in which she accompanied three Kurdish women of different generations over a period of three years. “Koy” means “village” in Kurdish, but in the context of Berlin it can also mean “keys”. Haven, in her mid-twenties, accomplished this feat once as she contemplated different worlds within her city: how it instantly feels like at home when back on the subway to Kreuzberg from one of these polished parts of town like Charlottenburg or Steglitz, arriving at Kotti. Her mother described the route to the Kurdish regions by bus, similar to Hevin’s description of her journey on the U1. Even if she loves Berlin, she can feel her lungs breathing only there.

Home but not back

Breathing is the main stimulus in presser Its protagonists think about where they can breathe more freely and what stands in the way of free breathing, here and there, maybe even how many breaths they have left. Nino, the grandmother of director Serpil Turhan, wishes above all that she does not need care. In the course of the film, she will finally plan to travel to Turkey, but her body has long been planning for the switch in the works. In a haunting dialogue, in which the granddaughter/director becomes a kind of emotional interpreter between mother and daughter, the question of where Nino would like to be buried is discussed.

Sani, from the middle of the three generations pictured, is also planning a trip to Kurdistan. Her current first name was engraved on her shortly before her studies began by her father, who preferred to remain silent about the family’s Kurdish origins. She later ran a café in Schöneberg for a long time, but after many trips and stays abroad, there was nothing she wanted more than to experience all the seasons in her Kurdish village of birth, not just summer vacation. But whenever such plans became concrete, the next war soon followed, the next bad news. “You can no longer take the political situation in Turkey into account,” she concluded, and during the film she came up with a new plan.

Contrasting hug

Nino still has hope for a radical change: before the elections in Turkey in 2018, she says that how things will proceed is in the hands of the people, and not in his “country” – the name of the president is not mentioned. “If everyone is afraid, what will happen? Then things will get worse.” Hevin is not afraid either, and even wants to travel to Turkey as an election observer, although she is likely to be on several lists there due to her political activism in Berlin. So the plan is at some point on the ice, and Hevin will have to struggle with her bad conscience, sometimes preventing herself from enjoying anything because she will be represented in UdK, while in Kurdistan her peers will have to take up arms, later. You remember your “mourning spasms” while shopping.

that hovers above the sometimes vague, sometimes tangible, and sometimes less achievable desires to travel, which are frequently thwarted in presser So, it is not only the turmoil between the homeland and the diaspora or the all-out search for oneself, but also and above all the political situation in Turkey. The three women do not appear primarily as the embodiment of Kurdish culture or an immigrant experience, but as political subjects forced to respond to oppression, war, and violence. Only around this political center do questions arise about identity, origin and life in Germany, such as the question of whether Sanya, as a woman in the Kurdish village, is able to express herself as aggressively as she used to in Berlin. , a question that quickly brings you to contemplate conflicting ideas of alternate destinies: Sometimes Sunny wishes she could live a life where her parents never once traveled abroad, but only wishes they did.

double trust

Serbil Turhan, born in Berlin in 1979, is himself part of the Kurdish diaspora in Berlin and is haunted by similar questions. Turhan appeared in the films of Thomas Arslan the brothers (1997) and beautiful day (2001) played a major role in the Time Travel trilogy (2003-2006). In 2016, a documentary film was dedicated to the director Rudolph Thome – Flowers are everywhere. your previous work Dilim dönmüyor – My tongue does not turn The film (2013), which was about one’s family, was recently screened again at the Berlinale in the Fiction Certification series.

Turhan’s new movie is the best directlyIt’s a calming, focused film, and for that very reason, it’s partly poignant. It consists almost exclusively of interviews and daily scenes of the three characters and is based on a double trust: concrete familiarity with conversational situations and confidence that something is being pieced together in the viewer’s mind, creating a cinematic experience. Dramatic arcs stretch remarkably hard, but subtly: all three characters are accompanied presser In farewell and departure, farewell to life without the need for care, farewell to one’s cafe, farewell to a destructive bad conscience.

Departure to Kurdistan, but also to the acting profession. Heavin doesn’t yet know exactly how things will go after her studies, but she does know she doesn’t want to become a Gorky actress which some of her fellow students have described as a precaution. She doesn’t want to fit in visually, but as an artist, she says, at the same time she shows how an overly complacent cultural institution on post-immigration can bind and dissolve racial snares. Perhaps actually withdrawing a foreign homeland is sometimes also due to the desire to hide, the suspicion that, despite all possible new adversities, it is easier to breathe in the Kurdish territory than a very familiar staircase.

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