28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Love, Deutschmarks and Death
Love, Deutschmarks and Death
Love, Deutschmarks and Death
Love, Deutschmarks and Death
Love, Deutschmarks and Death

Love, Deutschmarks and Death

director: Cem Kaya
original title: Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm
country: Germany
year: 2022
running time: 98 min.


Between 1955 and 1973, there was a work programme in West Germany that recruited temporary workers from southern and eastern Europe. Among the largest group of these workers were the Turks. Physically demanding work in often poor conditions, a racist and xenophobic environment, and homesickness gave rise to a specific musical scene, where the themes of the songs were drawn from the lives of migrant workers. The film traces the history and music of this subculture against the backdrop of political events – from folk ballads to rock protest songs.

“They called for workers but human beings arrived, they called for workers but human beings arrived. They needed our labour, the manpower that gets things done on the production line, we humans were not interesting, that’s why we remained unknown to you.”


Cem Kaya (* 1976) is a Turkish-German documentary film director, screenwriter, and cinematographer. His frequent subjects include Turkish culture, migration, and music, and he likes to work with found footage. His previous feature documentaries are Arabs (2010) and Remake, Remix, Rip-off (2014).

more about film

director: Cem Kaya
producer: Florian Shcewe
script: Cem Kaya, Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay
editing: Cem Kaya
sound: Henning Hein
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Creative Europe Media
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas