Im toten Winkel

In the Blind Spot
A German documentary film project in north-eastern Turkey. Simone wants to learn more about Hatice, whose son was abducted a quarter of a century ago. Storytelling to prevent forgetting, rituals to contest disappearance. The lives of the Kurdish people – lives lived in a blind spot – are characterised by violence and resistance to an uncertain existence. Strange incidents soon overshadow the filming as well: turning up alongside interpreter Leyla and directly in front of the camera is the neighbour’s little daughter Melek, with her pretty purple dress and a mysterious gaze that goes right through you. What follows is a subtly framed, coldly brutal political thriller told in three chapters and from multiple perspectives. For it is not only the strategies of sinister organisations and the logic of paranoia that is the focus of this clever and complex cinematic conundrum, but the act of seeing itself – in all its dimensions, from observation to prophecy. The blind spot is in fact trauma, of the transgenerational kind. German-Kurdish director, screenwriter and producer Ayşe Polat stages it to perfection.
by Ayşe Polat
with Katja Bürkle, Ahmet Varlı, Çağla Yurga, Aybi Era, Maximilian Hemmersdorfer, Nihan Okutucu, Tudan Ürper, Mutallip Müjdeci, Rıza Akın, Aziz Çapkurt
Germany 2023 Kurdish, German, English, Turkish 118’ Colour World premiere


  • Katja Bürkle (Simone)
  • Ahmet Varlı (Zafer)
  • Çağla Yurga (Melek)
  • Aybi Era (Leyla)
  • Maximilian Hemmersdorfer (Christian)
  • Nihan Okutucu (Sibel)
  • Tudan Ürper (Hatice)
  • Mutallip Müjdeci (Hasan)
  • Rıza Akın (Burhan)
  • Aziz Çapkurt (Eyüp)


Director Ayşe Polat
Screenplay Ayşe Polat
Cinematography Patrick Orth
Editing Serhad Mutlu, Jörg Volkmar
Music Dynamedion
Sound Johannes Grehl
Production Design Osman Özcan
Costumes Ece Erol
Make-Up Antonia Petschow
Casting Pinar Çelik
Assistant Director Yasemin Müge Manus
Production Manager Lea Drescher
Producers Mehmet Aktaş, Janna Heine
Executive Producer Erhan Özoğul
Co-Producer Ayşe Polat
Co-Production PunktPunktPunkt Filmproduktion Berlin

Ayşe Polat

Born in 1970 in Malatya, Turkey, Ayşe Polat studied German, philosophy and cultural studies and works as a director, screenwriter and producer. Her debut film Auslandstournee (2000) won several prizes at international festivals. Her second film En Garde (2004) opened the Locarno Film Festival and was awarded the Silver Leopard for Best Film and Best Actress. In 2006, Polat staged her first theatrical work at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer theatre, entitled “Otobüs.”


1992 Fremdennacht; 14 min. · Fremdennacht; short film 1994 Ein Fest für Beyhan; 25 min. · Ein Fest für Beyhan; short film 1997 Gräfin Sophia Hatun; short film · Gräfin Sophia Hatun; 16 min. 2000 Auslandstournee; 91 min. 1999 Auslandstournee 2004 En Garde · En Garde; 94 min. 2010 Luks Glück · Luks Glück; 91 min. 2013 Die Erbin · Die Erbin; 75 min. 2016 Die Anderen; 65 min. · Die Anderen (The Others); documentary 2019 Der Staatsanwalt; series, several episodes 2020 Tatort: Masken; series, one epidode 2022 Tatort: Borowski und das unschuldige Kind von Wacken; series, one episode 2023 Im toten Winkel (In the Blind Spot)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023