Kara Kafa

Black Head
Cafer, a Turkish metalworker, moves his family from their Turkish village to Germany. He sees Germany as the country of infinite opportunity and is certain that the move will save his family from poverty. But their new life brings a lot that is difficult and unexpected. His wife becomes involved in the women’s movement and undergoes changes both outwardly and mentally based on the friends she makes there; the older son is lonely and doesn’t want to go to school; the daughter has to stay home and take care of her newborn brother. With its leftist, political view of labour migration, Kara Kafa (Black Head) distinguishes itself from many other examples of German-Turkish cinema. After it was completed in 1980, the film was banned by the Turkish censorship committee of the time, which claimed it hurt “the honour of Germany, our befriended nation”. Charges were brought against the director Korhan Yurtsever and he fled to Berlin, where he lived in exile for a number of years. The original negatives that could not be confiscated by the Turkish authorities surfaced unexpectedly last year and served as the basis for this restoration.
by Korhan Yurtsever
with Betül Aşçıoğlu, Savaş Yurttaş, Cüneyt Kaymak, Özlem Güler, Macit Flordun, Gülsen Tuncer, Ercan Demirel, Bülent Oran, Wolfgang Esch, Bahri Ateş
Turkey 1979 German, Turkish 82’ Colour Restored by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in collaboration with bi'bak / Sinema Transtopia (2021–22)


  • Betül Aşçıoğlu
  • Savaş Yurttaş
  • Cüneyt Kaymak
  • Özlem Güler
  • Macit Flordun
  • Gülsen Tuncer
  • Ercan Demirel
  • Bülent Oran
  • Wolfgang Esch
  • Bahri Ateş


Director Korhan Yurtsever
Screenplay Bülent Oran, Levent Ersin, Zehra İpşiroğlu, Korhan Yurtsever
Cinematography George Becker, Muzaffer Turan, Salih Dikişçi
Editing Korhan Yurtsever
Sound Kutay Derin
Producer Korhan Yurtsever

Produced by

Korhan Film

Additional information

Restored by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in collaboration with bi'bak / Sinema Transtopia (2021–22)

Korhan Yurtsever

Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1947. His first film Fıratın Cinleri (1978) won numerous prizes. At the personal invitation by the then-mayor of Berlin, Korhan Yurtsever shot Kara Kafa in Berlin, the Ruhr region and Turkey. After the film was banned, he lived in Germany for several years before returning to Turkey, where he continues to work as a director.


1978 Fıratın Cinleri (The Bad Spirits of the Euphrates); 68 min. 1979 Kara Kafa; 82 min. 1988 Zincir; 90 min. 2015 Koyverdin Gittin Beni (You Left Me Desperate); 132 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023