Film Screening
Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush

A tall man in a suit and a shorter woman in a blue coat are staring at something in surprise. Behind them there is a group of people and at the very back the White House can be seen.
© Pandora_Film

Berlinale Selection 2023

Pantheon Cinema

Feature film // 2022 // 119 minutes

Rabiye Kurnaz is someone you might generally call an ordinary woman, except that she is a real dynamo. Taking care of her children and much more, she is the one running the show in her terraced house in Bremen. Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, her son Murat is accused of terrorism and is (one of the first) shipped off to Guantanamo prison camp. This marks the beginning of a journey into the heart of world politics for this resolute German-Turkish woman. Together with human rights lawyer Bernhard Docke, whom she soon has completely on her side (like almost everyone around her), she battles for the release of her son – using her very own brand of self-taught English – all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Cologne-based comedienne, author, presenter and much more Meltem Kaptan is the perfect fit for Andreas Dresen’s special talent for combining explosive topics (in this case based on actual events) and the everyday concerns of the average citizen. Kaptan’s, or rather Rabiye’s, performance is overwhelming, and not just for the lawyer (played by Alexander Scheer) who quickly becomes a friend. A portrait of a passionate woman who holds the steering wheel of her beloved vehicle as firmly in her hand as she does the reins in this turbo-charged film.

Premiered at the 72nd Berlinale in the Competition 2022 section

Directed by: Andreas Dresen
Screenplay: Laila Stieler
Production: Claudia Steffen, Christoph Friedel
Music: Johannes Repka, Cenk Erdoğan
Cinematography: Andreas Höfer
Film editing: Jörg Hauschild
Cast: Meltem Kaptan, Alexander Scheer, Charly Hübner, Nazmi Kirik, Sevda Polat, Abdullah Emre Öztürk, Şafak Şengül, Jeanette Spassova, Abak Safaei-Rad, Alexander Hörbe


Berlinale 2022:
Silver Bear for Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role (Meltem Kaptan)
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay (Laila Stieler)

German Film Award 2022:
Silver Film Award for Best Feature Film
Best Female Leading Role (Meltem Kaptan)
Best Supporting Male (Alexander Scheer)

German Acting Award 2022:
Best Actress in a Leading Dramatic Role (Meltem Kaptan)


Pantheon Cinema

29, Diagoras Street
1097 Nicosia

Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Admission free

+357 22 674606
Part of series Berlinale Selection 2023