Jump directly to the page contents

Der schöne Tag

A Fine Day
Still from the film "A fine day" by Thomas Arslan. Close up of a young woman in front of greenery.
© Pickpocket Filmproduktion
  • Director

    Thomas Arslan

  • Germany / 2001
    74 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    German, Turkish

A balcony door. It is open – the only source of light in a darkened room. The sound of birds. A young woman stands there, motionless. Is she watching the sleeping man?
The young woman, Deniz, is an actress. The film will accompany her for a whole day, with natural light and sound recorded on location. We see how she sorts laundry, auditions for a leading role and meets other people. She often takes the U-Bahn. Her movements on foot and by public transport lend the film structure and determine its rhythm. The feel for Berlin’s topography is impressive.
DER SCHÖNE TAG completes Thomas Arslan’s Berlin trilogy, following KARDEŞLER (1997) and DEALER (1999). It is about people of Turkish origin, all of them second-generation, although questions of identity are not even broached – they remain underneath the surface. In one scene, we see Deniz working as a voice artist, dubbing Éric Rohmer’s CONTE D'ÉTÉ into German: like the character in the film whose lines she delivers, Deniz finds herself in state of uncertainty too. (Biene Pilavci)

Thomas Arslan was born in 1962 in Braunschweig, Germany. He studied film. Since his feature film debut Mach die Musik leiser (1994), Thomas Arslan has screened films at the Berlinale several times, including Dealer (1999), Der schöne Tag (2001), Aus der Ferne (2006) and Im Schatten (2010) at the Forum, amongst others. He has been a professor of narrative film at Berlin’s University of the Arts since 2007.

Production Thomas Arslan, Martin Hagermann. Production companies Pickpocket Filmproduktion (Berlin, Germany), zero film (Berlin, Germany). Written and directed by Thomas Arslan. Cinematography Michael Wiesweg. Editing Bettina Blickwede. Music Saul Williams, Selda Kaya & shape:mod, Morton Feldman. Sound Andreas Mücke-Niesytka. Art director Ulrika Anderson. Costumes Annette Guther. Commissioning editor Lucas Schmidt. Co-production ZDF, Das kleine Fernsehspiel. With Serpil Turhan, Bilge Bingül, Florian Stetter, Selda Kaya, Hafize Üner, Hanns Zischler, Elke Schmitter, Benedict Weber.

Films (selection): 1994: Mach die Musik leiser (87 min.). 1997: Geschwister – Kardeşler (82 min.). 1998: Dealer (74 min.). 2001: Der schöne Tag / A Fine Day. 2005: Aus der Ferne (89 min.). 2007: Ferien (91 min.). 2010: Im Schatten (85 min.). 2013: Gold (101 min.). 2017: Helle Nächte (86 min.).

Bonus Material

Essay, Texts, and Audio

  • Still from the film "A fine day" by Thomas Arslan. A young woman in shoulder close-up walks through greenery.


    Section of the Forum catalogue from 2001 featuring an Interview with Thomas Arslan and a text about the film by Christoph Terhechte.

  • Still from the film "A fine day" by Thomas Arslan. A young woman and a young men are sitting against a window and look into different directions.


    Audience discussion with Thomas Arslan after the 2001 premiere of his film in the Forum.

  • Still from the film "A fine day" by Thomas Arslan. A young man and a young woman sit opposite of each other in a café and talk animatedly.


    In “Kreuzberg Bildungsromans,” Krystian Woznicki listens carefully to Thomas Arslan’s unofficial Berlin trilogy.

Forum Special 2022

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur