Year of release: 2012
Directed by: Umut Dağ
When Ayşe celebrates her wedding almost everyone in her Turkish village believes her to have married Hasan who is just a few years her senior. But in fact, she is sent to Vienna as Hasan’s father Mustafa’s second wife. She arrives in Austria and receives a mixed welcome from her new family. At first, Mustafa’s children, some of whom are older than Ayşe, turn their back on the girl. Only Fatma, Mustafa’s wife of many years who is now dying of cancer, seems genuinely pleased: now she can be assured of a good successor to tend to her husband, to whom she has been a loyal and obedient Muslim wife.
A special friendship evolves between the two different women but this relationship is soon put to the test when the family has to face a stroke of fate.
Director Umut Dag’s description of the complex microcosm of a Turkish family living in Vienna displays a great deal of sensitivity in a work that explores the relationship between the old and the new, loyalty and friendship, and is not afraid to broach deep-seated emotions.
Umut Dag's feature film was co-written by Petra Ladinigg, one of the almuni of BABYLON Europe (2009). Gareth Jones, who is a member of the Research Network Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe, founded the audiovisual development programme BABYLON Europe in 2007 (and subsequently BABYLON International) with the aim to assist filmmakers of culturally diverse origin to break through into the international mainstream and has been particularly committed to supporting and developing scripts and films engaging with migrant and diasporic themes. Kuma was produced by Wega-Films (an Austrian company that also produced several of Michael Haneke's films), opened the Panorma section of the International Film Festival in Berlin in 2012 and has already been sold to 15 territories.
Kuma was widely reviewed in the Austrian press, including in Kurier and Kleine Zeitung. The film has been particularly successful in France, where it was released with 60 copies under the title La seconde femme and widely reviewed in the French press, including in Le Monde