At the festival in Berlin, renowned German filmmaker Andreas Dresen (Stopped on Track, Gunderman) presented a drama based on true events about a Turkish woman from Bremen whose son ended up in Guantanamo. And just like his most famous films, in which he dealt with some difficult topics such as terminal illness (Stopped on Track) or the time of the Stasi in East Germany (Gunderman) in a somehow optimistic, lighthearted, almost cheerful way, the film with a somewhat clickbait title was similar. which brought him the Silver Bear for the best screenplay, and Meltem Kaplan, who embodied Rabiye, the same award for the best actress.
Apart from Kaplan, who is great as an almost stereotypical, plump, pale middle-aged Turkish woman from Germany, that simple-minded, naive, uneducated, whatever is on her mind, she is on the road, optimistic woman who is always cooking and baking and drives a Mercedes like a madwoman, excellent is also Alexander Scheer (Gunderman) as the human rights lawyer from Bremen Berhard Docke who will take over the case. And her case is one of those that initially looked like it was doomed and that there was no way out for her 19-year-old son Murat. A few weeks after the terrorist attack on the WTC in September 2001, he headed to Pakistan to study Islam and be a better husband to his newly married young wife. That’s at least the official version, because very soon after leaving Hamburg for Pakistan, Murat will disappear, and mom will soon find out that he was arrested by the American army on suspicion of being a Taliban terrorist.
The unfortunate Murat will soon end up in Guantanamo, the infamous camp in Cuba where America has held terrorism suspects for years without formally charging them with anything. And although Rabiye is not at all clear at the beginning of what is happening and how something like this is even possible, because she is convinced that her Murat cannot be a terrorist, this energetic woman will not stop until she gets him out. She will put everything else in her life aside for the next few years, as long as this legal battle for her son’s freedom lasts, and the path will eventually lead her to America and the lawsuit against the then American President George W. Bush, because it will be shown that maybe and the only way to find out what happened to her son.
And Dresen shot this film, the action of which takes place over several years in a completely atypical style for that judicial, bureaucratic drama, and the viewer seems to follow everything that happens through Rabiya’s eyes. That woman who is completely inconceivable that there is a painstaking, long and exhausting process in front of her in which she will not have many allies and which simply cannot go as smoothly as she would like. And no matter how much Rabiye puts herself in grave danger and risks her safety and that of the rest of her family, this loud, big-hearted woman simply won’t stop until she achieves what she sets her mind to. The film is full of positivist spirit, a fine humanistic drama about a modern mother of courage who does not want and cannot take no for an answer.