Umut Dağ creates an image of a Turkish family in Vienna in its microcosm through the story of two women, the wife Fatma and the second wife Ayşe (Kuma in Turkish). The film starts with a wedding in Turkey, where Ayşe supposedly marries the young and handsome Hasan. Only after they arrive in Vienna, the viewer realizes that something is wrong. Ayşe got actually married to Hasan’s father, the elderly Mustafa as his second wife. His wife Fatma is dying of cancer and wants Ayşe to take over. Ayşe is not well received by the family, especially by the two older daughters, who make her life hard. The only person who she binds with is Fatma. The portrayal of the relationship of the two women is one of the strongest features of the film, where the bond between women matters more than the relationship to the man they both are married to.
Although the institution of the second wife is officially banned in Turkey, marriages with second wives are still commonplace. However, what Dağ does very well is that instead of criticizing this institution, he shows us its complex world and its difficulties. These complicated relationships are in the centre of the story but due to this complexity as well as sometimes unpredictable dramaturgy, the viewer gets puzzled and even unpleasantly surprised. The narrative structure seems too artificial due to the supremacy of the screenplay over the situations. The director lets some of the situations to be played out but often the scenes end with too much being unsaid which creates a feeling of something missing in the film. And although normally one would say that sometimes less is more, in this case, sometimes more is just better.
by Michaela Pnacekova