NewsWhy Dresen's new film surprises at the Berlinale

Why Dresen's new film surprises at the Berlinale

Director Andreas Dresen presents his new film at the Berlinale. It tells the story of Guantánamo prisoner Murat Kurnaz – and turns out to be very different than expected.

Berlin – How do you tell a story about the US prison camp Guantánamo? Director Andreas Dresen thought about this question for a long time.

The 58-year-old often finds unusual approaches in his films. After “Gundermann” he is now releasing a new project. On Saturday he presented his film “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush” at the Berlinale. The names make you sit up and take notice.

The film is about Murat Kurnaz – the man who grew up in Bremen and was held without charge in Guantánamo after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Dresen tells his story with an unusual look – he looks at the mother. A Bremen housewife who wants to free her son.

At the beginning of the film, she resolutely knocks on her son’s door. “Murat, it’s already noon. Murat, get up or I’ll cut off your beard,” she threatens. “Murat, cut the shit.” The film shows a woman who struggles for her family, shooting through the city in her Mercedes and sprinkling powdered sugar on the apple pie.

When her son disappears, she flies to Turkey to catch a politician. Finally she ends up with the Bremen lawyer Bernhard Docke (Alexander Scheer). Murat Kurnaz was imprisoned in the US camp in Cuba from 2002 to 2006. The film gradually reveals the legal battle for his release and the political failure.

First starring role for Meltem Kaptan

The intensity of the film is mainly due to Meltem Kaptan. The comedienne (“Ladies Night”) can be seen in her first leading role in a German cinema film. Full of energy, with charm, mischievousness and wit, she paints the portrait of a woman fighting to the point of exhaustion for her child. In this way, Dresen’s film has become surprisingly light and warm, without neglecting the difficult moments.

Andreas Dresen


In his new film, director Andreas Dresen deals with the story of Guantánamo prisoner Murat Kurnaz.

The film tells a straight line and without extravagances. Director Dresen is once again working with screenwriter Laila Stieler. Actor Alexander Scheer was also in “Gundermann” – this time he wears a mustache and a North German accent. After all these years, do you still want to see a film about the case? Yes, because the film shows a triumph of humanity. A timeless theme. dpa

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