Film:

Yasemin

Year of release: 1988

Directed by: Hark Bohm

Germany

Yasemin tells the story of a seventeen-year-old Turkish greengrocer's daughter in Hamburg-Altona, whose father Yusuf turns form a loving and reasonably liberal father into a despotic family patriarch when the family honour is violated because his older daughter, Emine, is ostensibly not a virgin when she gets married. 

However, Yasemin finds out that the real reason for her brother-in-law’s failure to produce the required proof of his wife’s virginity, the traditional bloodstained bridal sheet, was his own impotence. She confronts her father with the truth, thereby openly challenging the archaic principles on which Turkish-Muslim patriarchy is based and which inevitably put the blame for a man’s lack of virility or even his sexual transgressions on the woman. Yusuf instantly puts Yasemin under house arrest and arranges for her deportation to Turkey, allegedly in order to protect her from the corrupting influences of a country of ‘infidels’. Cousin Dursun and Yasemin’s father take her to some remote place where Turkish men, who are supposed to arrange her onward journey to Turkey, are dancing round a camp fire like gypsies – a clichéd depiction of the exotic ‘other’. In the last minute Yasemin’s German boyfriend, Jan, appears on his motorbike and elopes with her. Despite having been ‘rescued’ from the oppressive rule of Turkish patriarchy, she mourns the loss of her family and tears are streaming down her face as she holds on to Jan on the motorbike.

Internet Movie Database

Filed under: Coming of age | Daughters | Inter-ethnic romance | Patriarchy | Turkish German | Wedding / Marriage

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