Fightgirl Ayse

Denmark 2007, Feature film, 97' | Director, Screenplay Natasha Arthy | DoP Sebastian Winter | Editor Kasper Leick | Sound Mark Garcia | Music Frithiof Toksvig | Cast Semra Turan, Nima Nabipour, Cyron Melville, Behruz Banissi, Xian Gao, Sadi Tekelioglu, Denize Karabuda

Ayse lives with her highly traditional Turkish-born family in Copenhagen. She is just 17 and about to take her school-leaving exams. Like her bother Ali, she's expected to study medicine. Except she's not overly interested in school, preferring the martial art of kung fu. When she changes to a professional club where men and women train together, she has to keep it a secret from her family – as well as the fact that she has fallen in love with Emil. In her father's eyes having a Danish boyfriend would be totally unacceptable. At her brother's engagement party of all things, a row flares up, threatening to throw the family into misery. Whatever! She continues to train for the championships.

Fightgirl Ayse is a courageous film about the right to self-determination, a dramatic coming-of-age story and, not least, a spectacular martial-arts action movie with a pulsating soundtrack. The choreography of the remarkable kung-fu scenes was arranged by Xian Gao who was involved in Tiger and Dragon and who, here, also plays the kung-fu teacher. For her part, Semra Turan – who plays Ayse – is a regular kung-fu practitioner herself and turns in a totally credible performance as a young Muslim girl vociferously demanding her freedom.


Natasha Arthy, the Danish director, producer and screenwriter, was born in 1969. She took a degree in film studies at the University of Bristol. During the 1990s, she produced numerous children's films for Danish national TV a well as directing. In 2003, under the Dogme Label, she released Alt, neu, geliehen & blau (Old New Borrowed Blue).

Natasha Arthy
Feature Film
School Film