alleine tanzen

Dancing Alone

Director: Biene Pilavci / 97 min. / 2013 / German, Turkish (ST: German, English, Turkish) / Germany

“Dear diary, my heart is in pain. I want it to stop. But it won’t. It never will. Only if it stops beating all together. I am so ashamed.”
Diary entries and old VHS recordings, once mute witnesses of violence, speak out today and contribute to a family kaleidoscope in which the wish for a normal family becomes painfully clear when we take off to our first family holiday.

Director, Script, Editing: Biene Pilavci
Cinematography: Armin Dierolf, Biene Pilavci
Production: dffb, telekult

Watch the film on Sooner!

“The unteachable are punished by reality.”
Bertolt Brecht

Can my four siblings and I manage to build good relationships with other people after many hateful years and violence excesses, when our parents already couldn’t and their parents couldn’t either?
One day in midsummer, my sister Ilknur comes home late from the swimming pool. My mother Beyhan confronts her and beats her up. Ilknur breaks free and runs out of the kitchen. My mother randomly grabs something and throws it at her child – her husband’s brood. Ilknur is hit in the back. She flinches. Then a clang. A sharp knife falls to the ground. Ilknur’s back gapes open, her lungs exposed. A sight I will never forget: a pink cluster of quivering balls the size of corn kernels. At the age of 12, I decide to go to the home and am the only one of my siblings to leave this life. After too long, my parents’ marriage is divorced in 1994. A few years later, my father Mehmet is convicted of assault, drunk driving, damage to property, guilt and marital rape. He goes to prison and is deported to Turkey in 2001. Throughout this time, Mehmet tries to keep in touch with us children, both from prison and from Turkey. It is not important to us children. Today we are all grown up and Beyhan is a self-sacrificing grandma. She showers my sister Ilknur’s children with affection. My sister has always stayed close to my mother.
I understood: You can’t go anywhere without taking your past with you.

Pilavci Family

Director, Script, Editing: Biene Pilavcı
Cinematography: Armin Dierolf, Biene Pilavcı
Sound: Manja Ebert, Magnus Pflüger
Sound design: Daniel Engel
Sound re-recording mixer: Alexandré Leser
Producer: Max Milhahn, Heike Kunze
Production: telekult Film- und Medienproduktion
Co-Production: Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Filmbüro Bremen through the Bremische Landesmedienanstalt

Biene Pilavci

2022 Fiktionsbescheinigung – cinematic perspectives to Germany – Curatorial Introduction, Documentation, 42‘ (Concept, Director, Editing)
2015 Chronicle of a Revolt – One Year Istanbul, documentary (script, director, editor, producer) 83′, 57′
2013 Dancing Alone, documentary (script, director, editor) 98′
2010 The Tear, fiction (script, director, editor) 09″
2009 The Deviation, fiction (script, director, editor) 05″
2008 The Red One & Zora, fiction, (script, director) 14″
2006 Knots in the carpet, fiction (script, director) 16″
2005 Dancing Alone, doc (script, director, editor) 15″
2005 Live long, fiction (script, director) 15‘‘

The family, in which we are born, determines our further path in life.
What is it that lies, envies and kills within us?
I am interested in people. Especially the real ones! Made of flesh and blood, with all their flaws and all their beauty. As a filmmaker I have an easier time conveying thoughts with real people than in an ideal hero manner. And that’s due to one simple reason: They are like me. Meaning: I feel empathy.
My interest in this topic was so strong that I decided fairly early on to search for it within my own roots. Because nowhere else are people more open than in your own family. Even if a camera is present. In this smallest societal entity the film explores what it means to be human, power and how family shapes us.
There are two viewpoints on this matter today. Some think we are determined to become that, which has been given to us by our family, biographically and socio-psychologically. We cannot change our path. Others think that in fact we can. Everyone has the opportunity to shape his or her own life however he or she sees fit.
Personally, I intuitively act in a self-determined way. But the older I got, the more blurry the line got between self-determined actions and emulating the idea of a self-determined life. It is this thought with which I approach my family in my film. In the end, I even manage to get closer to myself. I confront my past almost like an experiment, I wait and see what happens and am hit with such force that it blows up in my face.
No, I didn’t plan this film. It happened to me. I doubt whether that is a good thing, but it seems as if it had to happen. At the end of my emotional journey I realize there is no escape. Live with it or leave it be.


2012 55. DOK Leipzig (Weltpremiere), Sektion Deutscher Wettbewerb
2013 34. Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis Saarbrücken
2013 10. Dokumentarfilmwoche Hamburg
2013 9. Achtung Berlin – new berlin film award, Bester Dokumentarfilm – gewonnen
2013 13. Docaviv, Tel Aviv/Israel (internationale Premiere)
2013 20. DOK.fest München, Sektion Deutscher Dokumentarfilm – Lobende Erwähnung
2013 6. Documentarist, Istanbul, Türkei (Türkeipremiere)
2013 50. Filmfestival in Antalya, Türkei, Bester Dokumentarfilm – gewonnen
2013 2. Duhok Filmfestival/Irak
2013 20. Astra Filmfestival Sibiu/Rumänien, Bester internationaler Dokumentarfilm – gewonnen
2013 10. FILMZ – Festival des deutschen Kinos, Mainz
2013 4. Hangi Insan Haklari, Izmir/Türkei
2013 5. Hangi Insan Haklari, Istanbul/Türkei
2014 13. !F Istanbul Independent Film Festival, Istanbul, Türkei
2014 Horea Bernea Studio, Bukarest, Rumänien
2014 16. Eskisehir Filmfestival, Türkei
2014 25. I’nat. Filmfestival Ankara, Türkei
2014 6. Ankara TRT Documentary Festival
2014 17. Ucan Süpürge Women Festival Ankara
2014 7. Izmir Ege Üniversitesi Documentary Festival
2015 12. Cronograf Chișinău/Moldawien, Bester internationaler Dokumentarfilm – gewonnen

2022 Docs on Tour
Universität Weimar 2020 – Filminstitut
Universität Wien 2020 Ethnologishces Institut
HFF Babelsberg Montageforum 2012
Wilhelm das war nix, Wilhelmspalais Stuttgart 2012
100. Bremen Heimspiel 2013
Freiluftkino Friedrichshain
Tüpisch Türkisch 2013 Köln
Peter kommt auch 2013 Berlin
10. Türkische Psychoanalytiker Tagung Izmir | Türkei 2014
Naxos Kino Frankfurt a.M. 2016
Pera Müze Istanbul 2019
Lecture zu FILM ALS SELBSTEBSTIMMUNG anhand von Alleine Tanzen
Lecture zu Film als SELBSTBESTIMMUNG anhand ALLEINE TANZEN an der Hochschule für Gestaltung (hfG) in Offenbach zu Homo Sapiens Reihe von Prof. Tatjana Turanskyj