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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Türkisch für Anfänger (Turkish for Beginners)

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Starts March 15

Original language: German

trkisch fr anfngerSixteen-year old Lena Schneider (Josephine Preuss) and her „for-ever-young“ mother Doris (Anna Stieblich) are to go on vacation to Southeast Asia. Lena is not looking forward to a boring holiday with her mother and has booked her plane seat far away from her. Very much to her disgust, the seat next to her is taken by Cem Öztürk (Elyas M’Barek) of Turkish descent with an overbearing macho attitude. He travels with his timid sister Yagmur (Pegah Ferydoni) and his conservative father Metin (Adnan Maral). Not far from their final destination the plane has to make an emergency landing on the blue ocean. Low and behold, Lena, Cem, sister Yagmur and the stuttering Greek teenager Costa (Arnel Taci) are the only passengers getting washed up on a beautiful small island where they find shelter in a dilapidated hut. “Emancipated” Lena is totally frustrated when Cem immediately installs himself as the leader of the group. The film switches back and forth from the island to the holiday resort where Mrs. Schneider and Mr. Öztürk have landed. Whilst waiting for their children to be rescued they get acquainted with each other. Not only do the parents get closer, also the stranded teenagers put out their feelers for the opposite sex. 

At times I felt like being in the German TV jungle camp (Holt mich hier raus) when the four youngsters keep scouting through the undergrowth. Most of the actions are predictable, using plenty of clichés; others are just over the top crazy. Meeting guest actress Katja Riemann in the middle of a jungle, chopping vegetables like the good housewife, (and casually offering her mobile phone) is a funny surprise.

Thanks to the weird characters, the quick pace and typical teenage dialog it will be liked by fans of the successful TV series Türkisch für Anfänger (52 episodes). The writer-director Bora Dagtekin (also known for Doctor’s Diary, 2008-2011) used the same characters for his film version but gave the story some unexpected twists. 

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