During an argument, a young Muslim man in Germany accidentally divorces his wife by uttering the word "talaq" three times; as a result, his love for her, though unchanged, now conflicts with his faith.
"The winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 69th Berlinale, Oray by German filmmaker of Turkish origin Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay, is indeed an unusually accomplished first feature."—Cineuropa
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Oray and Burcu are a young married couple in love—but like any couple, they fight. During one of these fights, Oray repeats the word "talaq" three times, which, according to Islamic law, constitutes a divorce. Filled with regret, he consults an imam, who advises that the couple should at least take a three-month break. A former burglar, Oray is trying to keep himself on the straight and narrow, and decides to leave their small German town for the duration of the time apart. In his new city, he gets a job at an open-air market, and rents a room from the cousin of the local imam, Bilal. He becomes involved with the mosque where he finds a sense of community and purpose, even befriending a petty thief who reminds him of his younger self. But Bilal's more conservative interpretation of Islam, in combination with Oray's own struggles, puts a future with Burcu in question. Winner of the Best First Feature Award at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, Oray is an insightful and affecting exploration of issues of community, identity, and religious faith.
Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay was born and grew up in Germany, and studied at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne with a focus on film and literature. He currently lives and works in Cologne.
- Director: Mehmet Akif Buyukatalay
- Principal Cast: Zejhun Demirov, Deniz Orta, Cem Goktas, Ferhat Keskin, Mikael Bajrami
- Premiere Status: North American Premiere
- Country: Germany
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 100 minutes
- Producer: Bastian Klugel, Claus Reichel
- Screenplay: Mehmet Akif Buyukatalay
- Cinematographers: Christian Kochmann
- Editors: Denys Darahan
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Berlin International Film Festival 2019 (Best First Feature Award)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Turkish, German, Romani
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Pluto Film Distribution