REVIEW: ‘A Regular Woman’ now playing from Corinth Films

Photo: A Regular Woman tells the story of Hatun “Aynur” Surucu. Photo courtesy of Corinth Films / Provided by Foundry Communications with permission.

A Regular Woman, a new movie directed by Sherry Hormann and written by Florian Oeller, depicts the real-life events surrounding an “honor killing” in Germany in 2005. The story, both dramatic and tragic for sure, is given the necessary emotion, reality and poignancy to make the movie an effective piece of docudrama.

Hatun “Aynur” Sürücü is the center of this sad tale. She is a young woman who has grown up in an ultra-conservative Turkish Muslim family and decides to break the custom of the house by leaving her abusive husband, according to press notes. The end to this marriage upsets her brothers and parents, with each member of the family dealing with the fallout in a different matter. In the end, Aynur and her child must leave the house and find a new life in Germany.

When Aynur begins enjoy a more liberal life, against the wishes of her family, an unspeakable act of violence sadly takes the protagonist’s life away.

Bringing this heartfelt story to life is Almila Bagriacik as Aynur, an actor who is involved in almost every scene in A Regular Woman, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The audience can see the hurt on her face when her family turns their back on her and also the uncertain smiles that come when she decides to go out partying with her new friends (against the wishes of her parents and brothers). Each of these emotions, complex and confusing to the 23-year-old, are expertly portrayed by Bagriacik, in what can only be described as a brave, powerful performance.

The story is finely focused, only offering a chronology of events, likely based on journalism articles and the ensuing court case. There is no further commentary, but sometimes a narration does get in the way of the depicted events. Ultimately the movie is at its most effective when it’s contemplating and depicting the life of Aynur and how her murder proved to be such a great loss. It’s a somber and powerful call to end violence against women.

By John Soltes / Publisher /

A Regular Woman (2020). Directed by Sherry Hormann. Written by Florian Oeller. Starring Almila Bagriacik, Rauand Taleb, Meral Perin, Murtuz Yolcu, Armin Wahedi and Aram Arami. Running time: 90 minutes. Rating: ★★★☆

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at, among other publications. E-mail him at

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