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 fresh start comes with various unexpected and challenging situations. His wife becomes involved in the women’s movement, the oldest son is lonely and doesn’t want to go to school, and the daughter has to 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. Upon its completion, the film was subjected to a ban by the Turkish censorship committee of the era, who deemed that it hurt “the honor of Germany, our befriended nation.” After charges were brought against the director Korhan Yurtsever, he fled to Berlin, where he lived in exile for a number of years. The original 35mm negatives that could not be confiscated by the Turkish authorities surfaced unexpectedly last year and served as the basis for the restoration.
KARA KAFA was screened in the Berlinale Forum Special program in 2023. More information about the film as well as an interview with the director can be found here.
Introduction by Can Sungu.