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Is Netflix's Who Were We Running From Based On True Events?

Paranoia and fear can make some people behave erratically. To believe that one is in constant danger makes forming long-lasting relationships with strangers tricky, and it also places a certain level of suspicion on all those around. 

Netflix's latest book-to-television adaptation of "Who Were We Running From" is a Turkish movie that follows a character known only as Mother (Melisa Sozen) and her daughter, Bambi (Eylul Tumbar). Checking out the trailer, one sees that Mother and Bambi engage in a lifestyle where they are constantly on the move, and Mother tries everything in her power to make sure Bambi is protected from some unnamed force.

Based on the book by Turkish author Perihan Magden, "Who Were We Running From" is not crafted specifically from a real story. It is instead inspired by a real-life event in Magden's life that saw her publicly ridiculed for her support of a conscientious objector. 

"Every half a year there is something," Magden said to The Power of Culture, "and now it became part of my life. At the time of the trial, I was very depressed, and the book has also become very depressed. It is about a mother and a daughter who are fleeing from something. The reader doesn't know what they are running from. The mother is 'overmothering'. She tries to protect her daughter against the cruel world."

Magden was thrust into Turkey's public discourse and was ridiculed and ostracized for her thoughts

The reason for Perihan Magden's national spotlight in Turkey was based on her issues with mandatory military service in the country, which saw her and many other journalists and writers in the country come under national scrutiny. Writing an article in 2005 about conscientious objection being a human right, Magden was put on trial in 2006. She was later acquitted, but the entire ordeal rattled Magden to the core. This proved to be the basis for both the book and the Netflix adaptation of "Who Were We Running From."

"I feared for my life at that time," Magden said. "By mobbing your trial, they put marks on you. You become national news, and you become a national b****. I wrote the last scene of my book to shorten my fear, but then I thought it would cause me trouble. But now I don't feel that fear anymore. Our relationship with Turkey is cyclonic. In Turkey, things become tense, and then it relaxes. It looks as if it relaxes, but then a horrible thing happens again." 

Although "Who Were We Running From" is not a movie based on a true story, the emotions Magden felt were quite real, and they helped craft a stirring story of a mother and daughter who operate on the edges of an oppressive and controlling society. It's also about how fear can manipulate one's behavior.