At 26, a Kurdish-German woman is elected the youngest mayor in Turkey. In a record 81% landslide she is elected mayor of Cizre, a Kurdish capital city that lies in the war-torn region at Turkey’s border with Syria and Iraq. It is here that Leyla was born, but after her father was killed by the Turkish military, she was sent at the age of 5 to live in Germany. After more than 20 years, she returns home. Her goal is to heal and beautify the civil war-torn city, which is enjoying a break in the violence. But on the eve of Turkey’s parliamentary elections, everything changes, and old memories become more real than ever. Leyla is arrested and filming becomes increasingly dangerous.
"In 2014 I read an article about Leyla Imret", says director Aslı Özarslan about the movie. "A young woman at my age decides to return to the hometown of her parents. After reading her story, I wanted to know more about her motivation and ambitions. Why she went there, why this position, and what connects her with the town. I went to Cizre on research and wanted to experience her in that particular town. Here I saw her everyday life, which was new to a mayor, in an unknown town. I learned about her motivations. I knew that I had to make a film about it."
The screening is followed by a talk with the director Aslı Özarslan and the journalist Ebru Tasdemir.
In cooperation with taz.gazete.
About the special programme "You Want Kilims, But I Do Films – Art and Culture in Turkey":
Political and social upheavals in Turkey have decisively changed working conditions for artists, scientists and journalists. In the special programme "You Want Kilims, But I Do Films – Art and Culture in Turkey", the Akademie der Künste invites representatives from various cultural sectors to present their practice.
With the friendly support of the Gesellschaft der Freunde der Akademie der Künste (Society of Friends of the Academy of Arts).