Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The misery of being both female and Turkish in West Berlin is brought home in this emotional documentary of the culturally accepted abuse of Turkish women, centering on the family's right to decide who the woman will marry when she is still a young teenager barely into puberty. Many of the husbands are old men, not just older men, who have influence or money and want a young wife. The documentary opens with an interview with a woman who was married off to an older man on her family's trip to Turkey, and then subjected to such intensive abuse when she returned to Berlin that she has attempted suicide several times. After that interview, the documentary illustrates how Turkish girls are not allowed to mix with boys on the playground, how chadors are worn by Turkish women out in public in Berlin, how teenage females are still bought and sold (bride-buying), and how a Turkish doctor has sewn up the hymens of young girls who have been violated, but have to be virginal at marriage or they will disgrace their families. It will be difficult for viewers to forget these images, which is certainly what the filmmakers had in mind. Needless to say, the film has been criticized by Turkish men - and certainly not all subscribe to the practices detailed in the documentary - but then, why would any objective man fight exposing abuse for what it is? Director and writer Mehrangis Montazami and her husband, cameraman Resa Dabui are both originally from Iran, but have been making documentaries on the disinherited foreign immigrants in Berlin for ten years previous to this, their fourth release.