(director/writer: Sherry Horrman; screenwriters: Florian Oeller/from the book “Honor Killing: A German Destiny” by Matthias Deiss & Jo Goll; cinematographer: Judith Kaufmann; editor: Bettina Böhler; music: Fabian Römer; cast: Almila Bagriacik (Aynur), Rauand Taleb (Nuri), Aram Arami (Tarik), Meral Perin (Deniver), Mehmet Ateşçi (Sinan), Mürtüz Yolcu (Rohat), Merve Aksoy (Shirin), Armin Wahedi (Aram), Lina Wendel (Heike Beck), Jacob Matschenz (Tim), Lara Aylin Winkler (Evin); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sandra Maischberger; Corinth Films; 2019-Germany-in German & some Turkish with English subtitles)

A grim true story about a devout Muslim Turkish honor killing in 2005 in Germany.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A grim true story about a devout Muslim Turkish honor killing in 2005 in Germany. It’s directed by the New York born but raised in Germany filmmaker Sherry Horrman (“The Pursuit of Unhappiness”/”Desert Flower”). Writer Florian Oeller faithfully adapts it from the book “Honor Killing: A German Destiny” by Matthias Deiss & Jo Goll.

The 23-year-old Turkish-Kurdish victim, the mother of a young son, 
Hatun “Aynur” Sürücü (Almila Bagriacik), narrates from the grave her own honor killing in the streets of Germany by her youngest brother Nuri (Rauand Taleb), who pled guilty during the trial.

At 16, in Istanbul, the schoolgirl
Aynur, the oldest of nine siblings, was forced by her Sunni Muslim parents (Meral Perin & Mürtüz Yolcu) into an arranged marriage with an abusive cousin. After her death, her child was placed with an unnamed foster family.

While pregnant the abused Aynur returned briefly to her family’s overcrowded apartment in Berlin and her shamed parents. But her return was not welcomed by her parents or some of her fundamentalist hostile brothers, especially three of the most brutish ones (
the eventual killer Nuri and the two who egged him on-Mehmet Atesci, Aram Arami). She will take her child with her when she also leaves her family and is placed by German social services in a home for under-aged single moms. Aynur tries to explain to her German social worker Ms. Beck (Lisa Wendel) the love-hate relationship she has with her folks.

Trying to find a means to live independently, Aymur
studies to be an electrician, stops wearing her Muslim head scarf and meets a German working-class guy, Tim (Jacob Matschenz), to briefly find happiness with him. But the threats from her vile brothers scares him off.

After telling the police about the threats she receives, they only tell her they can’t act on threats alone and need something physical to happen to her before they can act. Obviously these rigid by the book bureaucrat types must share some responsibility in the tragedy and the flawed system must be re-evaluated so future cases like this one don’t happen.

It’s fast paced, energetic, engrossing and filled with still
photographs. The format follows along as a police procedural film that makes us see how this tragedy could have been avoided if the cultures could better understand each other and the parts of the foreign culture that were unlawful were enforced by the host country.

From left, Meral Perin, Almila Bagriacik and Murtuz
        Yolcu in “A Regular Woman.”