22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025


Milena Aboyan

Honour or shame for the family? Follow Elaha, a German-Kurdish 22 year-old, in this brilliantly told story about family, expectations, and sexual self-determination. Her wedding is drawing near and her traditional family expects her virginity to still be intact. Thus, Elaha is caught in a dilemma: loving her family and traditions on one hand, and her struggle for autonomy on the other. She is forced to question what it means to be a woman and whether or not her body truly belongs to her.

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Direction Milena Aboyan
Country Germany
Year 2023
Duration 110 min
Language German, Kurdish
Production Emina Smajić, Matthias Greving
Cast Bayan Layla, Armin Wahedi, Derya Dilber, Derya Durmaz, Cansu Leyan, Beritan Balci, Slavko Popadić, Nazmi Kırık, Réber Ibrahim, Homa Faghiri, Hadnet Tesfai
Camera Christopher Behrmann
Script Milena Aboyan, Constantin Hatz
Editing Elias Ben Engelhardt
Sound Perschya Chehrazi

Locarno 2022: Kaiju Cinema Diffusion Preis, Berlinale 2023

The Press Says:

“Director and co-screenwriter Milena Aboyan is a Yazidi Kurd herself. As a child, she came to Germany from Armenia with her parents. She is quite familiar with stories of those like Elaha. Nevertheless,it is important for her to emphasise that the film is not just about the problems of a particular culture or religion. For her, the conflict over virginity is representative of the patriarchy’s domination over the female body. (...) Moreover, her touching film gives insight into a community that not many in Germany know about.” (Julia Haungs, SWR2)

The Director About the Film:

“I wanted to depict her world. (...) And to convey the beauty of this culture. But also that her life is not a bad one and she doesn't suffer from the reality of this life. I wanted to tell the story of a woman who loves her family, culture, and traditions, but has qualms with some of the rules. She does not run away from them, however, but instead stays and tries to shake up those who also suffered under the same rules’’ (Milena Aboyan in an Interview with Arte).

In the presence of the director and producer

Future German Cinema