Review: ‘Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing …’

The struggles of a Turkish-Kurdish refugee family in Vienna receive heavyhanded treatment in the shrill melodrama "Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing … ," another film-school graduation project from uber-ambitious Austrian helmer Huseyin Tabak ("Kick Off").

The struggles of a Turkish-Kurdish refugee family in Vienna receive heavyhanded treatment in the shrill melodrama “Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing … ,” another film-school graduation project from uber-ambitious Austrian helmer Huseyin Tabak (“Kick Off”). The narrative unfolds from the p.o.v. of 12-year-old Veysel (Abdulkadir Tuncer), a shy dreamer who is tormented at school for his inability to speak German, while at home his family is in screaming crisis mode. Nicest bits are the sequences illustrating Veysel’s fantasies. Youth fests rep the pic’s best shot at offshore play.

Veysel and his disrespectful older brother (Yusa Durak), weepy mother (Lale Yavas) and Kurdish guerrilla-fighter father (Nazmi Kirik) have temporary asylum status, but the brother’s trouble with the law could lead to their deportation. Learning the Austrian government favors good students lends Veysel extra motivation to complete his homework assignment: Recite a poem in German. Macho neighbor Cem (Orhan Yildrim) helps him translate a work by his namesake, folk poet Asik Veysel; meanwhile, the family of Veysel’s secret crush (Milica Paucic) gets deported. Thesping is one-note, with Tuncer maintaining a beatific expression despite awkward shifts in tone; tech work is mediocre.

Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing ...

Austria

Production

A Dor Film Produktionsgesellschaft production with the support of Filmfonds Wien, Bmukk, Filmakademie Wien, VAM, Wien Kultur, Land Niederoesterreich, Land Vorarlberg, Stadt Klosterneuburg. (International sales: Dor Film, Vienna.) Produced by Danny Krausz, Kurt Stocker, Milan Dor, Huseyin Tabak. Directed, written by Huseyin Tabak.

Crew

Camera (color, 16mm), Lukas Gnaiger; editor, Christoph Loidl; music, Judit Varga; production designers, Julia Oberndorfinger, Attila Plangger, Stefanie Hinterauer; costume designer, Christine Brunner. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 1, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Abdulkadir Tuncer, Nazmi Kirik, Lale Yavas, Orhan Yildrim, Yusa Durak, Milica Paucic. (German, Turkish dialogue)

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