What John Berger's book A Seventh Man did for the male migrant worker, this unrelenting and delicate film attempts for his female counterpart. Shirin, a peasant girl from Anatolia, follows her betrothed Mahmud to Cologne, taking her hand-made trousseau. Inevitably she is drawn into the downward spiral of female immigrant labour, and even the support and affection of other women cannot mitigate the tragic ironies of the circumstances in which she finally meets Mahmud. Sanders-Brahms' understanding of the unorganised impotence of both migrant and German workers is enacted not only through the storyline, as Shirin is made into a Western woman, but through a projective narration which both conveys information and - by suggesting indictment rather than despair - hints at the possibility of a solidarity more political than that shown in the film itself. Very moving.
Cast and crew