Single Mom Elmas lives with her children Can (16) and Sevgi (9). Although she is completely on her own, Elmas is determined to provide her children a storybook version of the world. This idyllic world is shattered, however, when Can discovers that his mother is actually a prostitute after his best friend encounters his mother at the brothel where she spends her days. Can’s life falls apart as he deals with his feelings of alienation from his mother and the life he had thought their family was living. He runs away from home, neglects school and distances himself from his friends.
Elmas, meanwhile desperately clings to her daughter and to the fairy tale she has written of her life. Her attempts to re-establish a relationship with her son backfire and she plunges into a state of self-hatred.
For the first time in 16 years, Elmas is alone after Can takes Sevgi and moves in with their grandfather who had disowned his daughter years ago. Elma’s existence, which had revolved entirely around creating the fiction of a perfect family life for her children, no longer has meaning. She tumbles into a depression, but finally realizes the only way she can save her family is to address the circumstances of her own life. She ends her life as a prostitute, finds a new job and learns to enjoy life again in spite of the loss of her children.
Meanwhile, Can is consumed with rage against his mother, and is only saved by the patience of his grandfather. With his grandfather’s guidance, Can decides that the only way he can heal is by accepting his mother and the new life she has made for herself. Can misunderstands the circumstances in front of him when he approaches his mother for the first time, and in a rage, sets fire to the brothel where she used to work.
Upon discovering what Can has done, Elmas can no longer deal with the anguish and heartbreak she has worked so hard to overcome. She confronts her son, who is finally able to understand and empathize with his mother. He agrees to move back in with her, and Elmas‘ family, although still injured, begins to heal as the three attempt to return to a ‘normal‘ life.
This normalcy is suddenly halted by the appearance of Elmas‘ former employer, who demands that Elmas compensate him for the damages caused by the fire. When she is unable and unwilling to do this, he is willing to attack Can. Elma’s attempt to protect her son results in her own grave injury. Over the next few days, as Elmas’ life hangs in the balance, the grandfather and the children bond together as they wait at her bedside…
drama / 2014 / Germany / Digital / Color / 96 min. / DIRECTOR: Kadir Sözen / SCREENPLAY: Kadir Sözen / PRODUCER: Kadir Sözen / CO-PRODUCER:Dr. Götz Schmedes, Barbara Häbe / CAMERA: Stefan Linn / CAST: Narges Rashidi, Jascha Baum, Marlene Metternich, Vedat Erincin, Benno Führmann, Erhan Emre, Anna Thalbach, Hans Martin Stier, David Hürten, Pauline Fuchs / PRODUCTION: Filmfabrik GmbH / NETWORK: ARTE, WDR