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Kara Kafa

Kara Kafa (Blackhead)
Korhan Yurtsever, Turkey 1979, 76 Min., OV with English subs, DCP

The screening will be preceded by a keynote lecture by Deniz Göktürk at 19:00. It takes place as part of the conference Audio/Vision/Culture – New Perspectives on Turkish German Cinema (25.–27.5.).

Cafer, a Turkish metalworker, moves his family from their Turkish village to Germany. He sees Germany as the country of infinite opportunity and is certain that the move will save his family from poverty. However, their new life brings difficult and unexpected challenges. His wife becomes involved in the women’s movement and, through the new friendships she makes, undergoes changes both outwardly and internally; his eldest son is lonely and doesn’t want to go to school; his daughter must stay home and take care of her newborn brother. With its leftist, political view of labor migration, Kara Kafa (Black Head) distinguishes itself from many other examples of German-Turkish cinema. After its completion in 1980, the film was banned by the Turkish censorship committee of the time, which claimed it hurt “the honor of Germany, our befriended nation”. Charges were brought against the director Korhan Yurtsever and he fled to Berlin, where he lived in exile for a number of years. The original negatives that the Turkish authorities were not able to confiscate surfaced unexpectedly and served as the basis for this restoration.


Deniz Göktürk is Associate Professor in the German Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is one of the leading researchers concerned with the complex of Turkish-German cinema. Since the 1990s, her papers on the subject have been essential stimuli in the debate.