When We Leave - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

When We Leave Reviews

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August 11, 2017
I just watched this all the way through without subtitles and was mesmerized. What a powerful movie. Sad part is this is all to real for so many.
December 15, 2016
Excellent debut film by Feo Aladag has already won some 30 int'l awards; 10 of these awards are for lead actress Sibel Kekilli in a touching role of a Turkish wife and mother who violates tradition by leaving her abusive husband and taking her little child with her..
March 20, 2015
Loved this movie, viewed on SBS Aussie, the directors have woven a wonderful tale, it is still with me, oh what a tragic ending, were the brothers sent to kill Umay by her father after visiting the old village?? if this is is so it would be a Honour Killing!!, iIwould so like to discuss it with anyone, unfortunately none of my friends watch foreign movies.!!
February 15, 2014
True story of traditionalism told by language of motion
November 11, 2012
previse klisea malo,nista novo ubiti,fatih akim bolje prikazuje taj sraz kultura..al solidan film sve u svemu
November 3, 2012
Make sure you never return, when you leave.
September 22, 2012
im such a softie beautifully directed turkish movie...
½ September 9, 2012
emotional punch in the gut
June 3, 2012
Una película muy dramática, con mucha carga cultural.
Difícil de aceptar y de entender el estilo de vida de otras religiones.
Muy recomendada para ver algo distinto y ajeno a nosotros.
March 9, 2012
A mentality that belongs to the unfortunate in this world. This movie not only rips your heart out but angers you to the core.
February 18, 2012
Powerful, moving drama
January 23, 2012
Beside its uneven script and bad conclusion, Die Fremde is still a sophisticated, powerfully acted, emotional and intense art-house melodrama.
January 8, 2012
Sibel Kekilli, what a stunning actress. Movie was quite good, too.
January 5, 2012
This movie is gonna be so great!
November 27, 2011
Painfully disturbing.
½ November 25, 2011
the men make this hard to watch. it's stories like these that act as reminders that it's about time women inherit the earth.
½ November 18, 2011
This past year I took the 100 series of German language courses at my university. It was a great experience and I loved learning the language. One of the benefits, along with my love of film, was the introduction to some great German films. This particular film, a new one, was brought up by my 103 instructor, who praised it. So naturally I had to check it out. The film deals with immigration issues in Germany and the resulting culture clash, issues that have also arisen in a philosophy class I took that same quarter. So the intrigue of this film was more than I could bear to not seek it out.

The film follows Umay (Sibel Kekilli) who is the young wife of Kemal and mother of Cem. They live, not so happily, in Istanbul. When Kemal goes too far and Umay has had enough, she flees to Germany, where her family has migrated. But upon learning about her reasons, her family ostracizes her for shaming their family. Left to her own devices, a single mother and an immigrant in Germany, Umay struggles to come to grips with the grim reality of the customs of her Turkish family.

Writer/director Feo Aladag, in her debut feature, raises some interesting questions and makes some nice observations. The male-centric Turkish culture may be out of date in this modern world and Umay's wishes and desires should not effect the dignity of an entire family, or the fate of her younger sister's true romance, but they do. I mentioned my philosophy class earlier. In it, we discussed the flawed philosophy that right and wrong are determined on a culture to culture basis, and who are we to say that another culture is wrong? Like I said, it is flawed, but it does present an interesting case in some situations.

For instance, Umay is rebelling against her cultures view of right and wrong, attempting to stand up for her individual rights as a woman, whose rights are generally disregarded. It is an admirable attempt, but the manner in which she does it is somewhat tactless and she is only setting herself up for failure. Many of her actions are selfish, even to the point that Cem, the only true innocent in the story, is overlooked. Her family, while shunning her, does give her the ability to live her own life without them, yet Umay insists on getting everything that she wants, pretty much ruining her sister's wedding just so that she can see her. In this regard, the film does not work. It has good intentions and does discuss/bring up important issues, but it does not handle them well. Plus they through in an under-developed pseudo-romance for seemingly no reason.

Other aspects of the film are quite admirable though. The cinematography for example is quite good. And a lot of credit should be given to the lead actress, Sibel Kekilli, who plays Umay with a of of heart and emotion. It's just that the narrative and direction fail the material behind it. I truly feel sorry for Cem.
½ October 30, 2011
It sends a strong message.....
September 23, 2011
Riveting and heartbreaking film about a Turkish woman's attempt to get out of an abusive relationship and go home to Germany to get assistance from her family who abandon her due to cultural and societal stigma. Infuriating in that the main character is determined to keep contact with those who do not have her or her young son's best interests at heart. Really powerful central performance by Sibel Kekilli.
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