World Premiere: 2021 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Crystal Globe Competition)
"THE EXAM presents a powerful plea for equal access to education, allowing young women to lead a free and emancipated life."
Terre Des Femmes, Christa Stolle (CEO)
„[…] the bond between these two [sisters], as they don’t seem to have high hopes for their respective futures, is touching.“
Cineuropa, Marta Bałaga
“It is in this respect that the film approaches the issue of women’s rights more comprehensively, provocatively, and loosely than many other works that unquestioningly define the desire for personal emancipation through the characters of suffering women cutting the chains of a ruthless patriarchy.“
FIPRESCI Jury, Adéla Mrázová
“Punctuating its pro-feminist messages with moral and ethical questions about the extremely risky measures taken by the girl to ensure success, the fourth feature by leading Kurdish filmmaker Shawkat Amin Korki is packaged with all the suspense and tension of a tightly wound crime thriller."
Variety, Richard Kuipers
„The standout is the striking Jamal, a television actress in her first feature role, who brings a frazzled authenticity to her performance as Shilan.“
ScreenDaily, Wendy Ide
„The film gives us a lucid look at gender issues, economic inequity and social distress in a region that has seen conflict and intense suffering over many years.“
Arab News, Gautaman Bhaskaran
„Written and filmed without judgement, The Exam has an added layer of will-she-won’t-she suspense. Korki’s smooth direction piles on the bleakness without a trace of heaviness.“
Scroll.in, Nandini Ramnath
"[...] a fertile moral field to examine the traps surrounding female empowerment [...]"
The Film Verdict, Deborah Young
"Shawkat Amin Korki baut von Anfang an Spannung auf, wodurch der Film neben der offensichtlichen Kritik an der Sozialordnung, in der er ein Gleichgewicht zwischen leichter Ironie und Ernsthaftigkeit findet, auch den Charakter einer Kriminalerzählung erhält."
NZZ am Sonntag, Teresa Vena
"Spannend und in allen Richtungen gesellschaftskritisch"
SRF Kultur, Michael Sennhauser
by SHAWKAT AMIN KORKI (DE, KRG-IQ, QAT 2021, 89’)
Rojin, a heartbroken young woman who is suffering from depression after the disappearance of her fiance, is preparing for her university entrance exam. If she fails, her father will force her into marriage. If she succeeds, however, she might lead a more emancipated life and avoid the fate of her older sister Shilan, who is unhappily married to a conservative man who demands her to be a proper housewife. Seeing that her younger sister struggles to achieve that dream, Shilan becomes desperate to make her pass the exam by any means necessary. This decision puts the sisters under immense pressure from their environment both at home and in school, as they become entangled in a huge network of corruption that is connected through all parts of society.
Director: Shawkat Amin Korki
Screenwriter: Shawkat Amin Korki and Mohamed Reza Gohari
Cinematographer: Adib Sobhani
Producer: Mehmet Aktaş (mîtosfilm); Foad Jalal (Masti Film)
Cast: Avan Jamal, Vania Salar, Hussein Hassan, Shwan Attoof, Hoshyar Nerwayi et al.
Cultural Ministry of City of Culture - Suleymaniya, Doha Film Institute, Republic Iraq - Ministry of Culture - Iraqi Cinema and Theater Foundation