Nesrin is an urban, middle-class woman recovering from a divorce. She quits her office job, abandons Istanbul and moves into her deceased grandmother’s country house to finish a novel and live out her childhood dream of being a writer.

When her conservative and increasingly unhinged mother turns up uninvited and refuses to leave, Nesrin’s writing stalls and her fantasies of a peaceful village life turn bitter as the two are forced to confront the darker corners of each other’s inner worlds.

Just as Nesrin is torn back and forth between love and hatred, Motherland is a complex and brave portrait of humanity’s struggle between modernity and conservatism. Director Senem Tüzen’s first feature, Motherland premiered in the Critics’ Week section at this year’s Venice Film Festival.