Based on the 2007 novel titled ‘Biz Kimden Kaçıyorduk Anne?’ by Perihan Mağden, Netflix’s ‘Who Were We Running From?’ is a Turkish crime drama series that centers on a mother who lives with her daughter as a nameless fugitive while keeping a dark secret. As the two live on the run, they relocate from hotel to hotel, using each one as their temporary residence, allowing their paranoia to perceive everyone in their environment as a danger to their safety and freedom.
The thrilling narrative is coupled with the stellar performances from Melisa Sözen, Eylül Tumbar, Musa Uzunlar, Devrim Kabacaoglu, Taylor Lauren, and Buçe Buse Kahraman, which make the themes of fear and paranoia seem real. Therefore, viewers must be curious to learn more about the inspiration behind its origin. If you are wondering whether ‘Who Were We Running From?’ is inspired by a true story, here is everything you need to know!
Is Who Were We Running From a True Story?
No, ‘Who Were We Running From?’ is not based on a true story. The Netflix series is based on Perihan Mağden’s novel, ‘Biz Kimden Kaçıyorduk Anne?.’ The book explores the anxieties and fears the Turkish author and columnist experienced after being harassed and accused of being a conscientious objector. In her novel, she paints a picture of the themes of fear associated with the lives of women who live under a system where they are constantly under paranoia that they are being watched.
In an interview with The Power of Culture, Perihan recalled the experiences which she drew inspiration from to pen her bestselling novel. She talked about a traumatizing time in her life in 2006 when she was publicly called a “wh*re” in court during a trial. She said, “Every half a year, there is something. 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.”
Perihan added, “The mother is ‘over mothering’. She tries to protect her daughter against the cruel world. It still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it. I feared for my life at that time. By mobbing your trial, they put marks on you. You become national news, and you become a national bitch. 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.”
The author concluded, “In Turkey, things become tense, and then it relaxes, it looks as if it relaxes, but then a horrible thing happens again. So we have this fake appearance of rest, a peaceful period. Now it is peaceful.” Being a single mother and being raised by one in Turkey, Perihan understands the fear in a mother’s heart, and she knows that a mother would go to any length to protect her child. Though aspects of ‘over mothering’ might be problematic and most times intrusive for the child, a mother knows what is best for their child.
The Netflix film inspired by the novel is a complete reflection of the author’s feelings during 2006. She further mentioned that she didn’t specifically write a “woman’s book” but rather claimed, “It is about a murder mystery. It is about dangers in society.” Therefore, despite being a fictional story set in a heightened reality, the subject material of ‘Who Were We Running From?’ holds emotional appeal and cultural relevance for the audience.