March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Run Time: 93 minutes
This quiet domestic drama by young Austrian-Kurdish filmmaker Umut Dağ packs a powerful emotional punch. Lovely, sad-eyed Ayse is being given in a traditional Turkish marriage to handsome Hasan, whose extended family has come from Vienna to their native village for the celebration. The marriage is a sham since Ayse will actually function as a KUMA, a second wife, to Hasan's 60-year-old father. Hasan and his assimilated Austrian sisters are horrified by the whole scheme; but they go along with it at the behest of their mother Fatma, who's dying of cancer and hopes the new girl will take care of her six mostly adult children after she's gone. Back in Vienna, Ayse is treated kindly by the older generation but frostily by the younger. However, she has a gentle ability to make every tense situation better, and the clan starts accepting her. But tragedy strikes and secrets threaten to throw the family into further turmoil. KUMA features a strong cast, with Begüm Akkaya a standout as Ayse. (In Turkish and German with subtitles) –B.B.
Veit Heiduschka, Michael Katz, Wega Film
Nihal G. Koldaş, Begüm Akkaya, Vedat Erincin, Murathan Muslu, Alev Irmak
Umut Dağ grew up as the oldest child of a Kurdish immigrant family in Vienna. After attending the Vienna Business School, he worked on advertising films. He studied directing at the Vienna Film Academy under Peter Patzak and Michael Haneke.
Austrian Film Commission