A Little Bit of Freedom

A teenaged Kurd refugee from Turkey struggles to get by in Hamburg after his bid for political asylum is refused in "A Little Bit of Freedom." Involving, convincing portrait of a mild-mannered orphan whose past comes back to haunt him is engagingly melancholy. Gritty yet never sordid, lively and affecting pic provides a window into the lives of marginal but eminently real people.

With:
With: Cagdas Bozkurt, Necmettin Cobanoglu, Leroy Delmar, Sunay Girisken, Nazmi Kirik, Susanna Rozkosny. (German and Turkish dialogue.)

A teenaged Kurd refugee from Turkey struggles to get by in Hamburg after his bid for political asylum is refused in “A Little Bit of Freedom.” Involving, convincing portrait of a mild-mannered orphan whose past comes back to haunt him is engagingly melancholy. Gritty yet never sordid, lively and affecting pic provides a window into the lives of marginal but eminently real people. A healthy fest life and possible hardtop play awaits.

Boyishly handsome Baran (Cagdas Bozkurt), age 17, makes bicycle deliveries for a kebab shop run by a Turk who employs an all-refugee staff. Baran, whose parents were turned in by a village snitch for hiding a partisan, is a hard working and decent lad of few words who has been evading the German authorities for some time.

He strikes up a friendship with fellow teen Chernor (Leroy Delmar), an illegal African immigrant with dyed blond hair, although he disapproves of his drug dealing. His more insular fellow Kurds, however, can’t imagine why Baran would want to fraternize with a black African. Meanwhile, the kebab stand owner’s pretty daughter has her eyes on Baran, but he’s concentrated on survival and slow to reciprocate.

A mysterious one-eyed man from Baran’s village, a loaded gun and an ill-timed police intervention turn Baran’s routine inside out. Pic tackles nuances of assimilation from a rigorous but sympathetic p.o.v. Lensing is energetic and effective.

A Little Bit of Freedom

Directors Fortnight / Germany

Production: A Cotta Media Entertainment, Peter Stockhaus Filmproduktion, ZDF Mainz production. (International sales: Cotta Media Entertainment, Berlin.) Produced by Ralph E. Cotta. Directed, written by Yuksel Yavuz.

Crew: Camera (color), Patrick Orth; editor, Lars Spath; music, Ali Ecber; art director, Beatrice Schulz; costume designer, Lore Tesch; sound (Dolby), Oswald Schwander, Eynar Marell, Manfred Arbter. Reviewed at Forum des Images, Paris, May 6, 2003. (In Cannes Film Festival -- Directors Fortnight.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With: With: Cagdas Bozkurt, Necmettin Cobanoglu, Leroy Delmar, Sunay Girisken, Nazmi Kirik, Susanna Rozkosny. (German and Turkish dialogue.)

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