a documentary about the power of family

“Dear diary,
my heart is in pain. I want it to stop. But it won't. It never will. Only if it stops beating all together. I am so ashamed."

Diary entries and old VHS recordings, once mute witnesses of violence, speak out today and contribute to a family kaleidoscope in which the wish for a normal family becomes painfully clear when we take off to our first family holiday.


technical details
Germany, 2013, documentary 98‘‘, shooting format: DVC Pro HD (25 fps), screening format: DCP, 24 fps, 16:9
audio format: 5.1 Dolby Surround, Original language: German, Turkish
Voice Over versions: German, English, Turkish / Subtitles: German, English, Turkish


script, director and editor Biene Pilavcı
dop Armin Dierolf, Biene Pilavcı
sound Manja Ebert, Magnus Pflüger
sound design Daniel Engel
sound re-recording mixer Alexandré Leser
producer Max Milhahn, Heike Kunze
production telekult Film- und Medienproduktion
co-production Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)
film fund Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Filmbüro Bremen through the Bremische Landesmedienanstalt


Director's statement
The family, in which we are born, determines our further path in life.

What is it that lies, envies and kills within us?
I am interested in people. Especially the real ones! Made of flesh and blood, with all their flaws and all their beauty. As a filmmaker I have an easier time conveying thoughts with real people than in an ideal hero manner. And that's due to one simple reason: They are like me. Meaning: I feel empathy.

My interest in this topic was so strong that I decided fairly early on to search for it within my own roots. Because nowhere else are people more open than in your own family. Even if a camera is present. In this smallest societal entity the film explores what it means to be human, power and how family shapes us.

There are two viewpoints on this matter today. Some think we are determined to become that, which has been given to us by our family, biographically and socio-psychologically. We cannot change our path. Others think that in fact we can. Everyone has the opportunity to shape his or her own life however he or she sees fit.

Personally, I intuitively act in a self-determined way. But the older I got, the more blurry the line got between self-determined actions and emulating the idea of a self-determined life. It is this thought with which I approach my family in my film. In the end, I even manage to get closer to myself. I confront my past almost like an experiment, I wait and see what happens and am hit with such force that it blows up in my face.

No, I didn't plan this film. It happened to me. I doubt whether that is a good thing, but it seems as if it had to happen. At the end of my emotional journey I realize there is no escape. Live with it or leave it be.


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