“A Regular Woman” owes much to its fine cast and impeccable technical package. Screenwriter Florian Oeller humanizes and develops his main character while still suspensefully deploying details of the case. Veteran DP Judith Kaufmann (“The Divine Order”) proves herself a master of color and framing, while Bettina Böhler (Christian Petzold’s go-to editor) establishes an unflagging pace that incorporates rapid volleys of still photographs and infuses the film with energy.
There’s a fine line between giving a voice to the victims of honour killings and putting words into the mouths of people who are no longer able to speak for themselves. The slightly contentious issue with A Regular Woman is how closely allied it is with the real case of Hatun Aynur Sürücü. There is no distance afforded by a layer of fictionalisation and, ultimately, it’s impossible to know how closely the voice of the character in the film matches that of the young woman who lost her life. And it’s this – the element of presumption inherent in speaking for her – which may draw criticism. Yet, despite the tragic ending, Hormann permits a note of hope with a tribute to the people, mostly women, who worked to support Aynur in her chosen life.
Franfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
"so amazing, so confident in tone, so sovereign (...). All these narrative ideas, in Bettina Böhler's magnificent montage, provide for a certain distance from the immediate events, but do not take the force out of what one sees, what develops inexorably there. It is rather as if this collage fits the posture, the tone, the will to live of this young woman. (...) Just as Sherry Hormann's film (...) tells the story of the short life of Hatun Sürücü, he triggers both while watching: Anger and indignation about the destruction of a life and reflection about how this could happen in a western, secular society. In the meantime, a motorway bridge in Berlin has been named after Hatun Sürücü. Better than nothing. But not nearly as moving a form of commemoration as A REGULAR WOMAN".
"Instead of reconstructing a case, she tells an undiminished, current story based on extensive research, oscillating between documentary and feature film, in an immediately true, but also completely unpolemic way.