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Scene from BASED DOWN SOUTH (photo © Anne Misselwitz)

They answer the phone as Ralf Becker and Ilona Manzke. Friendly, patient and competent, they work for a company based “down south” as they explain to customers enquiring as to the business location. But these call center agents who speak perfect German with endearing regional accents are actually based a little further south than their customers might imagine, namely in huge, open-plan air-conditioned offices in Istanbul. German companies from Lufthansa to Neckermann have come here to find qualified staff for low wages. Bülent (30), Murat (39), Fatoş (43) and Ciğdem (33) share the memories of their childhood and youth in Germany. Now all of them live in Istanbul, three of them against their will. Bülent was deported five years ago; Fatoş and Murat were forced to go to Turkey by their parents. 20 years later it is very uncertain if they can make their dream of returning to Germany come true. Only Ciğdem, the young manager with a German passport freely opted for a life in Istanbul. But even after decades in their parents’ country of origin, the other three have never really managed to make it their home. Instead, they have constructed a “surrogate Germany” for themselves.
Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2010
Director Martina Priessner
Screenplay Martina Priessner
Cinematography Anne Misselwitz
Bettina Blickwede
Producer Claudia Wolf
Production Company pangeafilm/Blankenfelde, in co-production with ZDF
Runtime 88 min
Format HDCAM, color, 1:1.85
Subtitled Versions German, English
Sound Technology Dolby 5.1
Festivals DOK Leipzig 2010 (German Competition)

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