40qm Deutschland

For our 33rd screening Nasan Tur brings us 40qm Deutschland, the story of Turna, the wife of a Turkish guest worker in Germany, restricted to their small apartment as she tries to adjust to life in a new country.

Established as a guest worker in Germany, Dursun brings his young wife Turna from Anatolia. Scared that she’ll get lost in the big city where she doesn’t speak the language or know the customs, Dursun demands that she stay home all day, confining Turna’s experience of her new country to the 40 square meters of their tiny apartment. Turna tries to adjust to her new life, her only communication with the outside world being shared gazes with a young girl who lives across the street. In an interview before the premiere of the film in 1986 Baser explained: “I want to try to show and clarify some of the thoughts and feelings of people who belong to a foreign culture, about which I criticize some parts but which I also understand because of its tradition. I want the Germans to get to know us, because the unknown is scary and produces hate….Because of that I show the circumstances of the foreign workers in Germany based on this example without even leaving the apartment.”

Tur first encountered this film by chance on television when he was around ten. However, it made an impression that has remained with him. A low-budget film produced and written by the director, and filmed only within the protagonists’ 40-square meter apartment, it is hard to find, and Tur hasn’t watched it since. For this reason he invites us to revisit the film with him to see what feelings it may provoke and to examine its continued relevance.

Nasan Tur was born in Germany in 1974, and graduated from the Academy of Arts and Design Offenbach, Germany (2003). His work reflects the social conditions in which it is produced, often exploring political ideologies, subliminal messages, and the symbols of power and dissent that are present throughout the urban landscape. An exploration of the tension between public action and inaction is intrinsic to his practice, with a participatory element often implicating the subjectivity or presence of the viewer. The boundaries of communication, as well as the tentative, or fragile nature of perception, are both driving forces behind the practice of the artist, and many of the situations that that he creates. He lives and works in Berlin.