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Running time – 110 min

Seating: Allocated - See Seating Plan for More Details

In German and Kurdish with English subtitles. The screening on Thu 23 May at 4pm will be relaxed for people living with dementia.

Elaha is a young Kurdish-German woman facing a dilemma just weeks away from her wedding.

Female with long dark hair wearing a lemon top and khaki coat in a shop surrounded by wedding dresses.

Torn between the unconditional love for her family and her own aspirations in life, Elaha investigates the possibility of hymen reconstruction to cover up the fact that she is no longer a virgin – a state of ‘honour’ considered essential by her German-Kurdish community and, more specifically, by her strict mother.

Elaha in sat knees up in a bath whilst her mother is knelt beside the bath.

Milena Aboyan’s feature debut is a compelling character portrait and feminist journey of identity and self-discovery, powered by Bayan Layla’s astonishing performance, portraying Elaha with exuberance and empathy.

‘sensitive drama exploring taboos in a tight-knit German-Kurdish community’ – ★★★★ The Guardian

‘Poignantly Powerful’ – ★★★★ Loud and Clear

‘Elaha is on fire’ – ★★★★ Eye for film

‘Layla delivers a career-making performance’ – Crack Magazine

Director – Milena Aboyan

Cast – Bayan Layla, Hadnet Tesfai, Homa Faghiri

  • Information about screenings with subtitles

    Subtitled screenings offer captions which transcribe dialogue only. Subtitled screenings attempt to give D/deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers an understanding of the spoken dialogue within the film, but do not include description about other aspects of the soundtrack, including music and sound effects.

  • Seating accessibility information


    Seat size

    Seats in the Cinema are 45cm (172/3“) wide and 46cm (18“) deep, are 40cm (152/3“) from the floor, and have 12cm (42/3“) between seats.


    Seats in the Cinema have armrests that do not fold away, and cannot be completely removed.


    Seats in the cinema have 30cm (112/3”) of legroom in front of seats, with additional legroom on row A and seats B1-B4 and B11-B14.

    Further information

    If you have any questions about accessibility our Box Office team are always happy to help and can be contacted on 01642 525199 or by emailing [email protected] - you can also tell us about your access requirements when prompted to do so during the online booking process.

  • BBFC rating information (may contain spoilers)


    A woman slaps her adult daughter. Two sisters have a brief hair-pulling fight.

    Threat and horror

    Scenes of threat include one in which a man behaves in an aggressive and sexually threatening manner towards his fiancée during an argument, and another in which people are heard screaming after discovering a loved one attempting suicide off screen.


    There is infrequent use of very strong language (‘c**t’), in addition to more frequent use of strong language (‘f**k’). Milder terms include ‘slut’, ‘whore’, ‘pussy’, ‘shit’, ‘tosser’ and ‘tits’.


    There are strong scenes of sex and masturbation, with breast nudity and mechanical thrusting detail. In one scene a woman initiates sex with her male friend in order to secretly test the efficacy of a pharmacy-bought ‘fake hymen’; she appears pained or distressed as he thrusts on top of her, and soon pushes him away. There are also moderate verbal references to sex and virginity throughout the film.


    Scenes of sexism and patriarchal oppression occur throughout the film, with particular emphasis on the discriminatory expectation that unmarried women should be ‘virgins’ with intact hymens. Women in the film are subjected to controlling behaviour in order to preserve their perceived ‘purity’, and characters equate female virginity with honour and worth, using misogynistic terms such as ‘slut’ to describe women they see as sexually promiscuous. The film strongly and clearly criticises such attitudes.

    Sexual violence and sexual threat

    During an argument, a man aggressively shouts at his fiancée, corners her against a car and starts undoing her trousers. She begins to sob, at which point he stops and cries in her arms, obliging her to comfort him. In another scene a woman faces pressure from her fiancé’s family to submit against her will to a pseudoscientific ‘virginity test’.


    It is strongly implied that a character attempts to take their own life. The scene is distressing but brief and undetailed, and the attempt itself occurs off screen.

    Injury detail

    A short extract of a video on a laptop screen of a surgical hymen reconstruction features moderate bloody detail.


    We see brief close up images of hymen reconstruction surgery being performed on a woman’s genitals. Breast nudity occurs during sex scenes. There is also infrequent breast, buttock and full-frontal nudity in a non-sexual context.


    There are moderate upsetting scenes.