Copilot is a new film and another take on the 9/11 tragedy, one that adds drama and romance to it. Two students marry in a mosque in Hamburg in secret, despite objections from the woman’s mother, but he throws her whole world into disarray as he commits to an act that will shake the whole world.
When quick-witted and sharp science student Asli meets charismatic Saeed in the mid 90’s, it’s love at first sight. The lovers marry despite her mum’s protestations, and Asli swears to be true to Saeed and never betray his secrets. Their future looks bright particularly with his move to Miami and pilot-training course, but as the twenty-first century dawns, Saeed makes a decision that not only shatters Asli’s hopeful dreams of life together but shakes the whole world to the core. The film is a fictionalisation of a true story, about a couple, Lebanese born Saeed (Roger Azar) and his Turkish girlfriend Asli (Canan Kir), who met as students in Hamburg in the 90s. Told from Asli’s perspective, we get a sense of the anguish and upset that the actions of Saeed propelled. She took was shaken by his actions, something not to brush over.
Directed by Anne Zohra Berrached, with a screenplay by Berrached and Stefanie Misrahi, the film is produced by Razor Films (Wadjda, The Perfect Candidate and Quo Vadis, Aida?) and producers Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, Christiane Sommer. With stunning performances from both Canan Kir and Roger Azar, it’s impossible not to feel affected and moved by Copilot, a film rich in skilled cinematography and prime characterisation.
A slow-paced and suspenseful drama, Copilot gives the audience the headspace similar to Asli to consider the chaos Saeed creates, with his sudden and secretive disappearances. And when we both hear of the attack to the Twin Towers in the film, it’s at this point that we get a full sense of Asli’s thinking, as she makes her way to the police station. A considered drama, with a different perspective on the horrific incident, Copilot is an enrichening offering.
The feature, which Berrached wrote and directed, received its World Premiere at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival, in the Panorama section. It was released on September 10th, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.