GERMANY

ORAY

2019 – DCP – colore – 100’

 

Direction: Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay

Screenplay: Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay

Cinematography: Christian Kochmann

Editing: Denys Darahan

Set design: Jeannette Bastisch

Costumes: Marisa Lattmann

Cast: Zejhun Demirov, Deniz Orta, Cem Göktaş, Faris Yüzbaşıoğlu, Mikael Bajrami, Fırat Barıs Ar, Kais Setti, Ferhat

Keskin, Şahin Eryılmaz, Ramon Machtolf

Producers: Bastian Klügel, Claus Reichel

Production: Filmfaust Filmproduktion

World Sales: Pluto Film

 

SYNOPSIS

In an argument with his wife Burcu, Oray pronounces the Islamic word for separation, talaq. The Imam informs him of the consequences: Oray must now part from Burcu for three months. Oray uses the enforced break in their relationship to make a fresh start and moves to Cologne. Here, he finds a job at a flea market and seeks out a new Muslim religious community, led by the young Imam Bilal. Soon, Oray begins preaching himself; he is especially popular with the younger members of the congregation, and this makes Bilal jealous. When Burcu pays her husband a surprise visit, they realise that the break has done them good and they still love each other. Oray asks Bilal for advice..

 

THE DIRECTOR: MEHMET AKIF BÜYÜKATALAY

Born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany in 1987, he grew up in the German city of Hagen. He studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne with a focus on film and literature and is a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. He currently lives and works in Cologne.

 

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

“Oray examines the very strong need to belong of young male migrants and the problems it involves, originating in a hermetic microcosm which seals itself off to the outside world. A community that creates identities (which apparently the majority society cannot, or is not willing to provide) and that procures security, but also demands self-abandonment in case of deviations from its “internal laws“ – be it because of homosexuality or, as in Oray , the marriage to a wife no longer legitimate. In addition to the process of finding one‘s self within a comingof- age film, Oray deals with aspects of marginalization as a result of migration, in as far as individual identity is always shaped by being part of a minority in a segregating society. It is no secret that Islam, if one-dimensionally interpreted, can develop profoundly problematic traits. Yet, as any other religion, it is a complex system, which cannot be summed up in one sentence, nor in one film ; nor can it be compressed in the dichotomy of “good or evil”. I wanted to show the life of a Muslim away from the issues of medial attention, which is drawn only by negative headlines such as terror or burqa ban, since those issues do not matter in the life of Muslims. Their Islam is the Islam of every day, and of faith. Since as a filmmaker I have the capacity to participate in the framing of issues and in influencing public perception, I felt it necessary to work on the way Islam is represented and to readjust its image where it is one-sided or, at worst, distorted.”

 

FILMOGRAPHY

2008 Wie ich lernte Skifahren zu hassen (How I Learned To Hate Skiing, short)

2012 Ömer, the Lord (short doc)

2013 Vor dem Tor des Ijtihad (Before The Gates of Ijtihad, short)

2014 31 Szenen einer Jugend (31 Scenes of a Youth, short)

2016 Der Metzger (The Butcher, short)

2018 Oray

 

 AWARDS AND FESTIVALS

2019 Berlinale – Perspektive Deutsches Kino: Best First Feature Award