Hazal’s greatest wish is to have a life. In spite of many applications, she isn’t invited to a single job interview. Instead, she is stuck in a Job Centre training program that fails to open up any new opportunities for her. But on her 18th birthday, Hazal feels powerful. It is like the old days when she and her friends believed they could achieve anything as long as they stuck together. It’s only when they’re queueing to get into a hip club that Hazal feels they don’t belong there. And she’s right. The bouncer refuses to let them in. On their way home, they’re verbally abused by an arrogant student. The situation escalates, Hazal’s frustration about all the rejections erupts into a fatal act. Hazal flees headlong to Istanbul, a strange city in a country unknown to her. There, she has to survive on her own, no matter what the cost.
Ellbogen tells the story of a young woman who is pushed out of society and has to reset the course of her life. We want to run through the night with her; we want to know what happens next – for her, and for us all.
by Aslı Özarslan
with Melia Kara, Doğa Gürer, Jale Arıkan, Haydar Şahin, Orhan Kiliç, Jamilah Bagdach, Asya Utku, Mina Sağdıç
Germany / Turkey / France 2024 German, Turkish 86’ Colour World premiere recommendation: 14 years and up


  • Melia Kara (Hazal)
  • Doğa Gürer (Mehmet)
  • Jale Arıkan (Sultan)
  • Haydar Şahin (Halil)
  • Orhan Kiliç (Ömer)
  • Jamilah Bagdach (Elma)
  • Asya Utku (Gül)
  • Mina Sağdıç (Semra)


Director Aslı Özarslan
Screenplay Claudia Schaefer, Aslı Özarslan based on the novel by Fatma Aydemir
Cinematography Andac Karabeyoglu-Thomas
Editing David J. Achilles, Ana Branea
Music Delphine Mantoulet
Sound Design Moritz Corell, Andreas Radzuweit
Sound David Almeida-Ribeiro
Production Design Katja Deutschmann
Costumes Silvia Albarella
Make-Up Pauline Barki, Philoméne Lucas
Casting Manolya Mutlu
Producer Jamila Wenske
Executive Producer Jamila Wenske
Co-Producers Jutta Feit, Guillaume Dreyfus, Delphine Schmit, Julia Peters, Anna-Maria Aslanlogu
Co-Production Istos Film Istanbul
Tripode Productions Montpellier
jip film&verleih Frankfurt am Main

Aslı Özarslan

Born in 1986 in Berlin, she studied theatre and media at the University of Bayreuth, philosophy and sociology at the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and documentary film directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. In 2009, she directed her first short film; in 2012, she created the 11-minute video installation Kanak Sprak Bist Du, about the German dialect spoken by young people in multiethnic communities, for the Humboldt Box. Her 2014 film Insel 36 and her 2016 graduation film Dil Leyla won national and international awards.


2014 Insel 36 2016 Dil Leyla 2023 Ellbogen (Elbow)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024