Serhat Karaaslan has directed one feature film and several short films. His first film, Passed by Censor (Cannes Cinefondation Residence), premiered at the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it received the Critics' Choice Award, and has won several awards at festivals around the world. His films have screened and won awards at major film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Palm Springs, SXSW, etc. His latest work The Criminals had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Special Jury Prize.

Beauty by force

Nuray (42 years old), is a woman who lives in a suburb of Istanbul with her only son Emre (12-13 years old), she works as a nurse in a hospital.She has been divorced for a while and dreams of a new start. Still going to the gym, she begins to do plastic surgery to recharge her batteries and reinvent herself. First, she gets a nose job, followed quickly by breast augmentation, face lifts, botox... She starts to accumulate various bank loans to pay for all these surgeries because her salary can't cover them. Her son Emre is a moody teenager. He wants to be a Youtuber and constantly posts videos. As a result, he is a popular student, but has trouble with the school administration. His latest video goes viral and attracts the attention of the Ministry of Education inspectors. Mehmet (60) is a shady businessman who is known for his deals with various dubious politicians and the mafia. He had a stroke, is semi-paralyzed and is being treated at the hospital where Nuray works. There is a "contract" on Mehmet. He is now afraid of being killed and always has his bodyguard by his side. Since Mehmet is no longer useful to them, some dark forces have decided to eliminate him. Someone wants to profit from the "contract" and so they ask Nuray to increase the dose of a drug called Heparin, which is used in Mehmet's treatment, in exchange for a large cash payment. With her loans piling up and her addiction to plastic surgery skyrocketing, Nuray agrees. Heparin is a drug used as an anticoagulant in many hospital patients. When the dose is too high, the blood becomes fluid and fatigues the veins, causing first internal bleeding and then death. It is almost impossible to detect at autopsy. When Nuray begins to increase the dose of heparin, Mehmet's side effects include nosebleeds and constant urination. Mehmet is taken to the intensive care unit. Doctors remove his blood-thinning medication. Nuray continues to use heparin on Mehmet, which she secretly brings in from outside and mixes with Mehmet's prescribed medication. As Nuray realizes that she has put her son's life and her own in danger, she puts aside her desire for youth and beauty and devises a plan to end her dirty mission and all its implications.


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