When We Leave

What would you sacrifice for your family's love? Your values? Your freedom? Your independence? German-born Umay flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem with her. She is hoping to find a better life with her family in Berlin but her unexpected arrival creates intense conflict. Her family is trapped in their conventions, torn between their love for her and the values of their community. Ultimately they decide to return Cem to his father in Turkey. To keep her son, Umay is forced to move again. She finds the inner strength to build a new life for herself and Cem, but the need for her family's love drives her to a series of ill-fated attempts at reconciliation.   What Umay doesn't realize is just how deep the wounds have gone and how dangerous her struggle for self-determination has become...

"A remarkable artistic achievement. You must see this film." - The Huffington Post

"Riveting and heartbreaking." - Tribeca Film Festival Jury

Festivals: Berlinale, Tribeca FF, Shanghai IFF, Moscow IFF

"Riveting and heartbreaking." TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL JURY
"It's a universal story that will connect with audiences." The Hollywood Reporter
"A strong, moving, upsetting debut film where the end doesn't hesitate to challenge the cinematic taboos. Heartbreaking, therefore unmissable." LE FIGAROSCOPE
"Without excessive dramatization, one comes out of this film with a heavy heart and nostrils quivering with indignation." PREMIÈRE
"This is a tremendous and well-crafted film that is astonishing and eye-opening in its content and subject, and quietly revealing in its style of storytelling." Tribeca Film Festival - 2010 Film Guide
"WHEN WE LEAVE is an important movie. It's so intense, it's breathtaking, it hurts. Everyone should see this movie. It can make a difference." WARIS DIRIE, author of the novel "Desert Flower"


Deutscher Filmpreis - German Film Award (2010)
  Deutscher Filmpreis
    won    Best Film (Bronze Lola)
  Deutscher Filmpreis
    won    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Sibel Kekilli)

Tribeca Film Festival (2010)
  Tribeca Film Festival Awards
    main prize    Best Film (World Narrative Competition)

Flanders International Film Festival Ghent (2010)
  EBU Golden Award
    won    Audience Award ()
  EBU Golden Award
    nominated    Best Film ()

Mostra - São Paulo International Film Festival (2010)
  International Jury Award
    won    Best Film ()

Annual Calgary International Film Festival (2010)
  Annual Calgary International Film Festival Awards
    won    Best Film ()