A Little Bit of Freedom (Kleine Freiheit)
Yüksel Yavuz (2002)
In his second feature film Turkish-born director Yüksel Yavu, who came to Germany to study in 1980, explores the life of young illegal immigrants in the St. Pauli district in Hamburg. The film's title is a reference to a famous Helmut Käutner film, starring Hans Albers as the eternal sailor, Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (Great Freedom Number 7), which is also set in St. Pauli, underlining the claustrophobic and permanently jeopardised existence experienced by the protagonists of A Little Bit of Freedom.
The film tells the story of Baran, a Kurd from Turkey, and Chernor, an illegal and stateless immigrant from Africa. Following the death of his parents, Baran comes to Hamburg from a war-torn Kurdish village in Southeastern Turkey, seeking asylum. He carries a video camera with him which captures memories of his past, the Kurdish village of his origin, his parents and the man whom Baran considers to be responsible for the death of his parents. Baran falls into illegality when his asylum application is rejected just before his sixteenth birthday. For a while, he works illegally as a delivery boy for a relative who owns a Turkish fast-food restaurant but eventually loses his job. Seventeen-year-old Chernor dreams of emigrating to Australia and tries to make some money by dealing drugs. The young men are attracted to each other and, hesitantly, a love relationship develops, reminiscent of Johnny and Omar in My Beautiful Laundrette.
For a discussion of this film, cf. Deniz Göktürk's article in inaugural issue of the on-line journal Transit.
Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 19 Apr 2006 •
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