Am Rand der Städte | On the Outskirts

Germany 2005, Documentary, 83’ | Director, Screenplay Aysun Bademsoy | DoP Sophie Maintigneux | Editor Clemens Seiz | Sound Annegret Fricke | Production Harun Farocki Filmproduktion

»Today, almost every documentary film brims over with commentary, leaving the images to limp after. I want viewers see something; the pictures are not there to just prove something. The people in these settlements surprised me. They are great at telling stories – about Turkey, about Germany, about their ideas and dreams: dreams they saved for, that they travelled for, that they try to live, and that they have lost.« Aysun Bademsoy

Just outside Mersin, you will find one of the many settlements newly created in the early 2000s on the outskirts of Turkish cities, the architecture complexly new by Turkish standards. Large apartment blocks are grouped round a sort of park with swimming pools, meeting places, restaurants and bars. The area is fenced off and there is a private security service. In these apartment blocks – which bear such promising names as Paradise 2, Oasis or Olive Grove – live tenants known as the »Deutschländer«. These are mostly Turks, however, who worked abroad a long time, particularly in Germany. For years, they saved their money and invested safely in order to enjoy their twilight years in Turkey. The engrained belief that things can only be better in the home country – or indeed must be so much better – drove them back to these newly created ghettos on the outskirts of big cities. But life there has long since moved on ... without them.

Born 1960 in the Turkish city of Mersin, Aysun Bademsoy has lived in Berlin since 1969 where she also studied drama and journalism at the Free University. During her studies, she appeared as an actress in made-for-TV movies and series as well as working for Harun Farocki's production company as a production manager, editor and assistant director. Since 1989, she has been an independent film-maker. Her first directorial debut was the documentary film Fremde Deutsche Nachbarschaft. Yet in her later work too, Ms Bademsoy has repeatedly examined issues relating to coexistence between Turks and Germans.

Aysun Bademsoy
Focus: Turkey