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Kuma (2012)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0



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User Ratings: 138

My Rating

Movie Info

Ayse, a 19-year-old girl from the Turkish countryside, is chosen to be married to the handsome Hasan, son of formidable and house-proud mother Fatma, who resides in Vienna with her husband and six children. However, what soon becomes apparent is that Ayse is to be second wife to Fatma's husband. This tight-knit family go to great lengths to preserve traditional values, and although polygamy is illegal in Austria, Ayse is welcomed with warmth. Yet, her presence in a country whose language and





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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (1)

The true-life subject matter makes for chewy drama while also exploring the issue of women's rights.

August 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The premise of this sensitive drama is so chilling that it's not easy to watch. But events unfold in such a naturalistic way that we are drawn in emotionally.

September 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The results are as intriguing as the subject is vexing.

August 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

The most forceful moments amount to wordless transmissions of pain or longing across dinner tables or supermarket counters. Tuned in to Kuma's wavelength, we feel privileged to pick them up.

August 22, 2013 Full Review Source: New Statesman
New Statesman

The plot is a dramatic, or melodramatic, way of revealing the turbulent passions and prejudices beneath the surface of homophobia, patriarchy, matriarchy and resistance to change.

August 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

It's soap, but finely scented.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Kuma grows increasingly compelling as the complexity of the relationships become more apparent and we learn what is at stake for everyone.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

A sensitive drama about a hidden subculture, this film is sometimes difficult to watch as its naturalistic approach reveals chilling details about a Turkish family living in Austria.

August 16, 2013 Full Review Source:

A potent film ... about how families nurture dysfunction behind their self-created barricades.

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

An engaging and touching drama about a young Turkish bride who moves to Austria as a second wife in a family who struggle to deal with her presence.

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Lacks a structure that serves the narrative to the level it deserves, but Dag is certainly one to watch.

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

It does have some real drama: death, infidelity with a libidinous young grocer, repressed homosexuality, and a genuine seam of sadness running through things.

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

The film surmounts its limitations mainly through performance ...

August 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The drama simmers gently, as Kurdish-Austrian director Umut Dag handles his debut feature with assurance.

August 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A confident, vigorously acted debut, unsparing in its scrutiny of oppressive 'family values'.

August 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Kuma

Centering on two women in a Turkish family living in Vienna, this sensitive and quite involving drama takes a careful time to let us understand them instead of judge their actions - thanks mainly to Koldas and Akkaya, who perfectly convey all the needed emotion to their roles.
June 21, 2012

Super Reviewer

Young Turkish girl Ayse (Akkaya) marries the handsome Hassan (Muslu) in her small rural village before moving with her husband to his home in Vienna, Austria. The marriage is a sham, however, designed solely to appease the Austrian authorities. On paper, Ayse has married Hassan, but in reality she has become the second wife of Mustafa (Erincin). His first wife, Fatma (Koldas), is accepting of the arrangement as she expects to die from cancer soon. However, Mustafa is the one who passes away, following a heart attack. Ayse becomes the new joint head of the family, much to the chagrin of Mustafa's daughters, who are roughly the same age as her and identify themselves as Austrians rather than Turks.

For practically every Western European country, the current political hot topic is immigration. Liberal societies find themselves struggling to accommodate those who arrive from the ultra-conservative culture of Islam. We've seen the issue addressed in several recent films but Turkish-Austrian film-maker Dag is the first to tackle this subject from the side of the Islamic immigrants. Like the sons and daughters of Mustafa, Dag appears to consider himself closer to Austrian culture than that of Islam.

The film heavily critiques Islamic culture but does so in an overly melodramatic fashion. If a Muslim family appeared in a TV soap opera, I imagine their story-line would hit all the cliched points we get here; a character is secretly homosexual (Dag seems to offensively suggest Austrian society has "turned" him), while another one embarks on an affair in the local Turkish supermarket. There's not one twist you can't see coming and, while some elements may shock you if you're a radical conservative who lives with your head in the sand, it's all old hat if you're a corrupted western infidel.
Akkaya, a stunning and charismatic actress, puts in a great performance but if you want to see a critique of Islam handled in a more mature fashion, I suggest you check out Haifaa Al-Mansour's excellent 'Wadjda'.
August 11, 2013
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

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