April Children / Aprilkinder
Year of release: 1998
Directed by: Yüksel Yavuz
The film depicts the daily life of a Kurdish German family in Hamburg. Cem, one of sons, earns his living in a slaughterhouse and has a secret love affair with a German prostitute.
His parents, however, have arranged a marriage with a cousin from the Kurdish village. Despite his fear that he will never be able to forget his girlfriend Kim, Cem eventually bows to family pressure and marries the bride imported from ‘back home’. The wedding ceremony that concludes the film does not hail the promise of a happy end. Cem looks sad, even after lifting the bride’s veil and discovering a very beautiful young woman. Yüksel Yavuz refrains from passing an explicit judgment, be it on Cem’s parents or on Cem. Nobody is right or wrong, and yet, the wedding scene conveys an overwhelming sense of resignation and claustrophobia. The newlyweds are at the centre of a circle formed by their families, who witness the lifting of the veil, the kiss on the cheeks, and who clap to the rhythm of the music that accompanies this wedding ritual. But the approving smiles on their faces momentarily appear to be sarcastic grimaces – or so they may seem to Cem.