I watched this movie on demand without expectations; just intrigue because of my partial Danish background since this movie is a Danish film with English subtitles. An impressive film. The plot is reminiscent of a "Karate Kid" save that the conflicting battle is more internal rather than external. Aicha (Semra Turan) is a strong-willed girl who does not simply conform to her conservative Muslim culture which creates indifference between her, her family, and others of her culture.
Her parents are Turkish immigrants with conservative family and cultural values. Her father expects his children to be raised in a prosperous nation, such as Danmark, intent on becoming successful doctors. Aicha, however, doesn't comply with such demands and instead fights, literally, to earn a different kind of respect. She is fascinated by the martial arts and with persistence, convinces the master (Sifu) of a respected academy to allow her admittance to train. Aicha trains in secret against the demands of not only her family, but her culture as well, where man is the dominate figure (What is not clear is how she finances her training).
That aside, her brother, a doctor at a local hospital, is engaged to a young woman whose Muslim family is also disassociated with the host Danish culture. Omar, a friend of the bride-to-be's brother, is a martial artist in the same academy as Aicha and believes it disgraceful of her to be a part of something not meant for a Muslim woman. He refuses to train with her, and also finds it a shameful that she takes a liking to a fellow Danish peer in the academy. This developing relationship, and the control it gives Omar, become the catalysts for an internal culture clash that may produce fatal results.
Concerning Aicha's family, she and her father constantly butt heads; while she is trying to acclimate to the Danish society, her father expects her to maintain her cultural identity. Neither parent considers what Aicha wants, rather they expect to direct her life. They may want the best for Aicha, but what is it that she wants? *Sigh* Life just sometimes isn't fair... =)
As a movie, it delivers dramatically and thematically. It is reflective of how many immigrants continue to repopulate the European continent, and do so without assimilating into the host country. It shows how different cultures live separately among others, particularly those of the east.
**Possible Spoiler below**
Romantically, I was disappointed in the end even though the reality of it is more practical than a western fairy-tale ending.