Bastion of Sin / Hochburg der Sünden

Aysel is a religious Muslim who for many years has led a sheltered life as a housewife and mother in the provincial south of Germany. When she learns that the state theatre in Stuttgart is looking for non-professional actresses for the tragedy MEDEA, she sees an opportunity to escape from her tedious everyday existence – and so she auditions for a part. What initially sounds like a little bit of change in Aysel’s life soon proves to be a hard challenge to her view of the world. The director Volker Lösch wants to use the boundless freedom offered by theatre to penetrate the at times highly secretive world of Muslim women. As the stage adaptation develops, Aysel finds herself confronted by the tragic stories of life endured by other Muslim women, existences that up to now she only knows through hearsay. And as the only woman in the production wearing the Muslim headscarf, she is obliged to defend her values and lifestyle to other more modern Turkish women involved. Torn between her desire for freedom and her own traditions, Aysel gets entangled in a conflict with her beliefs and is forced to question her life to date. Aysel begins to struggle with the clichés, with the „immorality“ in the theatre – and ultimately with her very self.


Country of Production

Year of Production

Digi Beta Pal

58 / 78 min

Thomas Lauterbach

INDI FILM in co-production with SWR

Original Language
German, Turkish

English, German

Festivals / Awards

DOK Leipzig 2008 (Golden Dove in German Competition)
Kassel Documentary and Video Festival 2008
FilmZ – Festival of German Cinema Mainz 2008
Filmschau Baden-Württemberg 2008 (Prize of Baden-Württembergische Filmindustrie)
Basel-Karlsruhe Forum 2009 (Prix SRG SSR idée suisse)
Visions du Réel Nyon 2009
Hot Docs Toronto 2009
FilmKunstFest Schwerin 2009
Prix Europa Berlin 2009
Astra FF Sibiu 2009
Festival of German Cinema London and Dublin 2009
DoxBox IDF Damascus 2010
Turkish-German FF Nuremberg 2010
DocuDays HRFF Kyiv 2010
Tranzyt FF Poznan 2010 (Honorable Mention in comp. for Best Foreign Documentary longer than 60 minutes and People’s Choice Award)