Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Brothers and Sisters (Geschwister - Kardesler)

Thomas Arslan (1997)


Thomas Arslan's second feature film and part of his Berlin-trilogy is a slow-paced milieu study of German-Turkish youth in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The film depicts the every day life, domestic conflicts, dreams and disappointments of three siblings and their aimless, meandering strolls through the Kreuzberg district. The family itself encapsulates the culture clash that is at the centre of many German-Turkish films. In Arslan's film, the mother is German, the father is Turkish and the children have to make up their own minds about their cultural allegiances. Seventeen-year-old Leyla tries to escape from her family by spending most of her time with her best friend Sevim. Her twenty-year-old brother, Erol, has chosen Turkish citizenship and, consequently, has to do military service in Turkey. His mother objects but Erol finds the prospect of continued unemployment and mounting debts, which he cannot repay, in Berlin far more threatening than the prospect of military service in Turkey and leaves. Eighteen-year-old Ahmed is the is about to do his 'Abitur' (final exams at secondary school) and, despite being the most 'assimilated' of the three siblings, finds the experience of living in between two cultures difficult. 

Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 19 Apr 2006 •





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