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Elaha is about to get married, but there is one problem: she is no longer a virgin. Why does she actually have to be a virgin, and for whom?

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.


22-year-old German-Kurdish Elaha (Bayan Layla), a modern, independent woman, is about to get married. There is one big problem though: she is no longer a virgin. If her future husband finds out during their wedding night, she will shame her family besides being in big trouble herself. She could have her hymen surgically reconstructed, but the procedure costs around 3000 euros, money that she does not have. And why, she asks herself, should she do it anyway, and for whom?

Why is it okay for a man to have several sexual partners before marrying, while a woman may only ever sleep with her husband? And how should one behave as a (religious) Kurdish in a country with a more liberal sexual morality? These are questions director Milena Aboyan, a Yazidi Kurd born in Armenia, addresses in her self-written feature debut.

Q&As with director

Wed 23 Aug | 19:00 | Cinema De Vlugt
Thu 24 Aug | 19:00 | Rialto De Pijp

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Milena ABOYAN (1992, Armenia) began studying acting in Germany in 2010, where she worked on several theatre productions. After graduation, she switched focus to writing and worked as assistant dramaturge on an early-evening German TV series for ARD. In 2015, she took a screenwriting degree at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Elaha is her debut feature as a director.