22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025


Aslı Özarslan

Differently from the successful “Sonne und Beton”, this story’s location is not Neukölln, but Berlin-Wedding (different neighbourhood, same shit). Here, we meet 18-year-old Hazal – including all her contradictions and raging. The film adaption of Fatma Aydemir’s debut novel was enthusiastically celebrated at the Berlinale, Hessenfilm funded the film by director Aslı Özarslan, and jip film in Frankfurt co-produced it: Ellbogen shows us the story of a young woman cast out by society. She has to flee to Istanbul to redefine her life. You want to run with her through the night, you want to know what will happen to her and to all of us.

More information Lichter FilmfestLichter Filmfest

Direction Aslı Özarslan
Country Germany, Turkey, France
Year 2024
Duration 86 min
Language German with Englisch subtitles
Production Jamila Wenske
Cast Melia Kara, Doğa Gürer, Jale Arıkan u.a.
Camera Andac Karabeyoglu-Thomas
Script Claudia Schaefer, Aslı Özarslan, after the novel by Fatma Aydemir
Sound David Almeida-Ribeiro

Presented by:

About the Director

Aslı Özarslan, born in Berlin in 1986. She studied theatre and media at the University in Bayreuth, philosophy and sociology at the Université in Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), and documentary film direction at the film academy in Baden-Württemberg. In 2009, she realised her first short film, and in 2012, she created the eleven-minute video installation Kanak Sprak Bist Du for the Humboldt-Box about the topic Kiezdeutsch. Her film Insel 36 (2014) and her graduation film Dil Leyla (2016) won national and international awards.

Press Reviews

“Well played, entertaining, and consistently told from a young, female, migrant perspective.” (Fluter.de)

“She leaves her private tragedy in Germany behind, only to end up in a politically volatile situation in Turkey that is as obscure as the unwritten rules in Germany. She remains a fugitive, here and there.” (Filmdienst)

“A film that does not leave you cold and sparks discussions.” (Artechock.de)

The director about the film

“Shame is worse than fear,” Hazal angrily says to herself in the novel “Elbow” and thus reflects on her inner world. “Ellbogen” is a portrait of a young woman who pays a high price to free herself of social projections. Especially the crime and Hazal’s lack of remorse draw us in. Hazal turns away from the opinion of mainstream society. But she is neither a plain “victim” nor a model migrant who does everything right. She is a complex female character who does not fit into the perpetrator-victim-dichotomy. In our view, she is sometimes gruff but nevertheless sympathetic. She shows us the borders in society which are difficult to overcome. Hazal’s world is relatable for a lot of migrants in Germany and Europe, including me. It is a life that consists of constantly having to prove yourself. In Hazal, this society is revealed. Her strength deeply moves us.



Regional Feature Film Program