Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland

2010, 97 minutes

On 10 September, 1964, Germany’s one-millionth ‘guest worker’ was
welcomed. Spanning a period of no less than forty-five years, this film
by sisters Yasemin Samdereli (director) and Nesrin Samdereli (screenplay) tells the story of guest worker number one-million-and-one –
a man named Hüseyin Yilmaz and his family.

‘Who or what am I – German or Turk?’ asks six-year-old Cenk Yilmaz when neither his Turkish nor his
German schoolmates pick him for their respective football teams. In an
attempt to comfort Cenk, his 22-year-old cousin Canan tells him the
story of their grandfather Hüseyin, who came to Germany at the end of
the sixties as a ‘guest worker’ and who later brought his wife and
children to ‘Almanya’. Germany had long since become the family’s home
when without warning one night, Hüseyin surprises his loved ones with
the news that he has bough a house in Turkey and now wants to return to
the old country. Refusing to brook the slightest opposition, the entire
family set off for Turkey. This marks the beginning of a journey full of
memories, arguments and reconciliations – until, that is, the family
trip takes an unexpected turn…

The young filmmakers have plundered their own memories of childhood and youth for this, their cinematic
debut. Yasemin Samdereli: “Even at an early age, we were always struck
by the way people found it amusing whenever we told them stories about
our childhood: that Nesrin for instance once played German carnival
figure ‘Funkenmariechen’ and used to belt out Catholic hymns fervently
during mass. Or that I used to play the flute in a marching band and
wrote my name Jasmin – until my second grade teacher torpedoed my
attempts to hoodwink her.” (Berlinale, 2011)


Identity, Migration and refugees
Suitable for
havo/vwo - onderbouw
vmbo b/k - leerjaar 3 & 4
vmbo t - leerjaar 3 & 4
Yasemin Samdereli
Country of production
97 minutes
Age rating