Based on a contentious, real-life “honor killing” in 2005 that shocked Germany, Sherry Hormann’s A Regular Woman, which had its World Premiere at Tribeca in 2019, offers a novel and captivating approach: the murdered woman, a 23-year-old German of Turkish-Kurdish ancestry shot point blank by her youngest brother, narrates the action both before and after her death. A Regular Woman makes its virtual cinema premiere on June 26th from Corinth Films.
Picking up where German director Feo Alasag’s prize-winning 2010 feature When We Leave left off, A Regular Woman portrays a glimpse of life for Hatun Aynur Surucu, a free-spirited young woman living with an ultra-conservative Turkish Muslim family in Berlin. After escaping a forced marriage in Turkey with her abusive cousin, Hatun provokes the ire of her family by embracing a westernized lifestyle. After enduring endless harassment, she finally leaves the family and attempts to survive alone with her child, with whom she had escaped Turkey while pregnant. The threats and harassment continue, with German authorities willing to do nothing unless a physical act of harm takes place. This soon tragically materializes as the family decides to task Hatun’s youngest brother with a deed that would end the family’s “shame,” and thrust the horrific practice of honor killings into the national spotlight.
Utilizing the unique narration, as well as a number of documentary techniques adding to the true-crime feel of the shocking film, Hormann helped to restore the victim’s voice at a time when women around the world have made victimization and assault hot button, headline-grabbing issues. She says, “With ‘honor killings’ we tend to focus on the politics, optics, perpetrator, motive, and societal impact. But what about the murder victim? Aynur was more than just the ‘Surucu case’. She was a woman with a voice that still needs to be heard.”