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Kara Kafa

Black Head
Still from the film „Kara Kafa“ by Korhan Yurtsever. It shows a row of workplaces with sewing machines at which women are working.
© Korhan Yurtsever
  • Director

    Korhan Yurtsever

  • Turkey / 1979
    76 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    Turkish, German

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. But their new life brings a lot that is difficult and unexpected. His wife becomes involved in the women’s movement and undergoes changes both outwardly and mentally based on the friends she makes there; the older son is lonely and doesn’t want to go to school; the daughter has to stay home and take care of her newborn brother. With its leftist, political view of labour migration, KARA KAFA (Black Head) distinguishes itself from many other examples of German-Turkish cinema. After it was completed in 1980, the film was banned by the Turkish censorship committee of the time, which claimed it hurt “the honour of Germany, our befriended nation”. Charges were brought against the director Korhan Yurtsever and he fled to Berlin, where he lived in exile for a number of years. The original negatives that could not be confiscated by the Turkish authorities surfaced unexpectedly last year and served as the basis for this restoration. (Can Sungu)

Production Korhan Yurtsever. Production company Korhan Film (Istanbul, Turkey). Director Korhan Yurtsever. Screenplay Bülent Oran, Levent Ersin, Zehra İpşiroğlu, Korhan Yurtsever. Cinematography George Becker, Muzaffer Turan, Salih Dikişçi. Editing Korhan Yurtsever. Sound Kutay Derin. With Betül Aşçıoğlu, Savaş Yurttaş, Cüneyt Kaymak, Özlem Güler, Macit Flordun, Gülsen Tuncer, Ercan Demirel, Bülent Oran, Wolfgang Esch, Bahri Ateş.

Korhan Yurtsever, born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1947. His first film FİRATİN CINLERI (The Bad Spirits of the Euphrates, 1978) won numerous prizes. At the personal invitation by the then-mayor of Berlin, Korhan Yurtsever shot KARA KAFA in Berlin, the Ruhr region and Turkey. After the film was banned, he lived in Germany for several years before returning to Turkey, where he continues to work as a director.

Films: 1978: Fıratın Cinleri / The Bad Spirits of the Euphrates (68 min.). 1979: Kara Kafa / Black Head. 1988: Zincir (90 min.). 2015: Koyverdin Gittin Beni / You Left Me Desperate (132 min.).

Bonus Material

Interview with the director

  • Still from the film „Kara Kafa“ by Korhan Yurtsever. Four men walking on an industrial site.


    Can Sungu in conversation with Korhan Yurtsever

Funded by:

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