Olive Films will present the US theatrical release of Germany’s Oscar entry for 2011, WHEN WE LEAVE, a film by Feo Aladag, starring Sibel Kekilli (Head-On).  Winner of BEST FILM and BEST ACTRESS awards at 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as winner of BEST ACTRESS award at the German Film Awards, WHEN WE LEAVE will have its US Theatrical premiere in New York and Los Angeles in January 2011.  A national release will follow.

Director, producer and writer Feo Aladag‘s breathtaking feature film debut WHEN WE LEAVE is a gripping and complex portrait of a family in crisis, far removed from any clichés. Aladag is supported by a superb cast, first and foremost Sibel Kekilli (HEAD-ON) whose performance is absolutely hypnotizing. Playing opposite her are Florian Lukas (NORTH FACE), Alwara Höfels (RABBIT WITHOUT EARS), Nursel Köse (THE EDGE OF HEAVEN), and Turkish stars Derya Alabora and Settar Tanriogen.

In awarding the film Best Narrative Feature Award, and Best Actress Award for Sibel Kekilli, the Tribeca Film Festival Narrative Jury said of the film:   “WHEN WE LEAVE examines one woman’s struggle for personal freedom. It is a riveting and heartbreaking story of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, who must not only free herself from that marriage, but also the cultural prejudices and judgments that would keep her there.  Feo Aladag built the nuances of her film over a six year period.  She rehearsed her actors for seven months.  She immersed herself in every detail of a culture that is revealed to us in remarkable detail.  The result is a film that balances complex social issues with honest human yearnings.  Through the brutality, WHEN WE LEAVE is also a story of tenderness, the struggle for compassion, the inexorable pull of family and the need to love and be loved.”  German-born Umay (Sibel Kekilli) flees  her  oppressive  marriage  in  Istanbul,  taking  her young son Cem  with  her. She hopes 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 traditional 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 herself 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…

Germany, 2010


119 minutes

Format:  CinemaScope 1:2.35

Sound system:  Dolby Digital   35mm

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