Film Review: “Born in Absurdistan”

As part of the Multicultural Germany undergraduate seminar at UC Berkeley, students reviewed recent German films relating in various ways to topics of migration, multiculturalism, and contemporary German identity. Tanja Mehlo reviewed the 1999 film “Geboren in Absurdistan” (Born in Absurdistan): 

Geboren in Absurdistan, a 1999 Austrian drama film directed by Houchang and Tom-Dariusch Allahyari and set in modern times for a native German-speaking audience, features two couples, one Turkish (Emre and Emine Dönmez) and one Austrian (Stefan and Marion Strohmayer), who give birth on the same day at an Austrian hospital. The Turkish couple were Gastarbeiter (foreign laborers) in Austria, as were many Turkish people living in Austria due to the labor shortage at the time. After the Turkish couple is deported to Turkey, the couples find out that their babies have been switched at birth, and the Austrian couple begins an odyssey to Turkey to correct the mix-up. Meanwhile, they evolve in their views of the other culture….[read full review here]

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