Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe

Tour Abroad (Auslandstournee)

Ayse Polat (2000)


Genre: Coming-of-age story, Road Movie
Language: German and Turkish (Turkish dialogue sub-titled in German)

Tour Abroad, the first feature film of Ayse Polat, is a road movie that has been compared to Central Station (Walter Salles, Brazil, 1998) and Kolya (Jan Sverak, Czech Republic, 1997). But it has even more in common with and pays tribute to Wim Wenders' road movie Alice in the Cities (Alice in den Städten, FRG, 1974), the story of Philip Winter, a journalist with a writer's block, who ends up looking after 9-year-old Alice. 

Zeki, a 42-year-old Turkish homosexual folk singer who has been living in Germany for the past fifteen years, suddenly finds himself having to take care of Senay, the 11-year-old daughter of an ex-colleague of his who suddenly died. Zeki tries to track down Senay's mother, a Turkish belly dancer who abandoned her husband and baby daughter and whom Senay presumes dead. The journey in search of Senay's mother takes Zeki and Senay across a number of European cities,  including the small German town Wuppertal, the most memorable setting of Wenders' Alice in the Cities. Zeki's and Senay's journey eventually takes them to Istanbul. But the encounter with Cicek, Senay's mother, does not turn into the kind of happy reunion Zeki might have wished for. When laying eyes upon her daughter, Cicek immediately runs away and Zeki fails to persuade her to assume responsibility for her child. Zeki's reunion with his own mother is equally brief and disappointing.

Senay, who was deceived about her mother's death by her father, feels betrayed by him. Kneeling in front of a collection of colourfully illuminated cacti, presumably a present from her deceased father, she reproaches him for first having lied to her and then deserted her (through his death). After having given away her treasured cacti collection to a new-found friend, Senay is ready to put the past—and her parents—behind her and embrace a new life together with Zeki, who has turned into an affectionate foster father. The film's final scene shows Zeki and Senay get into a taxi and driving off into the distance, heading back to Germany. 



Posted by Daniela Berghahn on 19 Apr 2006 • Discuss this Film

Last edited: 21 12 2007 - Designed by PageToScreen