1. Program
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  3. Film Series
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  5. Left Side Stories
October 2016

Left Side Stories

Social Criticism in German-Turkish Migration Film
Curated by Can Sungu

The topic of labour migration to Germany is present in various Turkish and German-Turkish films. It was not only an inspiration for many films in the Turkish Yeşilçam industry, but was also an important subject for the German directors with or without Turkish origin. The film series Left Side Stories: Social Criticism in the German-Turkish Migration Cinema deals with Turkish and German-Turkish films, which focus on the phenomenon of labour migration to Germany and the lives of the so-called “guest workers” from a societal-critical perspective. They deal with social justice, class consciousness, women’s emancipation and the living conditions of the children of the workers from Turkey. It is also discussed how, despite the negotiation of German-Turkish migration in the films, the political sphere of the 1970s in Turkey decisively influenced the films and their directors.

With kind support by Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit des Landes Berlin (LEZ).

Can Sungu is a freelance artist, curator and researcher. He studied film, interdisciplinary arts and visual communication design in Istanbul and Berlin. He gave lectures on film and video production, curated various programs and events on film and migration, and took part in numerous exhibitions. He has worked as a juror and consultant for the Berlinale Forum, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, among others. He is co-founder and artistic director of bi‘bak and Sinema Transtopia in Berlin. Since 2023 he is curator for filmic practices at HKW in Berlin.



Korhan Yurtsever, Turkey 1979, 76 Min., OV with English subs


Thomas Draeger, FRG (West Germany) 1979, 82 Min., OV with English subs


Helma Sanders-Brahms, FRG (West Germany) 1976, 120 Min., OV