With the intention to break free from the strict familial restrictions, a suicidal young woman sets up a marriage of convenience with a forty-year-old addict, an act that will lead to an outburst of envious love.
In the sixties Romano Amato, his wife Rosa and their two sons Giancarlo and Gigi emigrate from Solino in Italy to Duisburg in the Ruhr area and establish the first Pizza restaurant in town.... See full summary »
Award-winning director Fatih Akin takes us on a journey through Istanbul, the city that bridges Europe and Asia, and challenges familiar notions of east and west. He looks at the vibrant ... See full summary »
Nejat seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey,where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten.Written by
The book Nejat gives to his father is a (at that point fictitious) Turkish translation of "Die Tochter des Schmieds" (The Blacksmith's Daughter) by Selim Özdogan. Selim Özdogan is a good friend of Fatih Akin. See more »
In the film, the year is 2006 and it is the Festival of Sacrifices (Kurban Bayrami), a religious holiday. Everybody is in summer clothes and many of them are sweating. The Festival of Sacrifices in 2006 in Turkey was in winter, at the end of December. See more »
After telling the story of Abraham that was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismael, to show God his obedience. Before Abraham could slay his son God sent a lamb to sacrifice instead.
I asked my dad if he would have sacrificed me as well.
And what did he say?
That he would even make an enemy of God to protect me.
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Before the credits start to roll, there's a dedication to producer and actor Andreas Thiel, who died in Istanbul shortly before filming was finished. See more »
Moving, Timely, Intelligent Look into the Turkish-German Meld
The Edge of Heaven
This is such a powerful, expansive, yet intimate movie about one of the things that matters most in our times, it's hard to fault it. The acting, the events, the setting, and implications of all these characters meeting and not quite meeting, suck you in. If it seems to have a lull now and then, you end up feeling the pace of their lives, and the pace of life itself. The events, even when they have a comic twist, are so heady and difficult they could make whole films each by themselves, but here they work through several related sections within a single tapestry.
As strong as the acting is, the core of the movie is the series of events, the plot. You'll see early on some coincidences beyond reason, making the plot almost Shakespearean, and therefore artful. The roles are each character are just a little surprising, just enough to keep us curious, yet each character represents a distinctive aspect of the crosscurrents of German and Turkish cultures and worlds, such as old people assimilating and young people refusing to assimilate. Even more than the mixing of Mexican and American worlds here in the U.S., this is a dramatic and more contentious melding, fraught with all those dangers of misunderstanding we hear in the news every day. Yet when it's brought down to the level of individuals, even seemingly unyielding ones, humanity wins.
I don't know how this film will carry itself in a couple decades. As well made as it is, it feels rooted in the moment, and when the times change yet again, there might be some kind of art or magic or transcendence missing to make it fully transport a viewer. It will remain interesting, but possibly less moving. But then, maybe the themes, of parents and children, of friends looking for who they miss and avoiding who they can't stand any more, might just be universal. But as a reflection of our world right now, 2009 (or 2007, when the movie was finished), it helped clarify just what life is like out there, beyond cinematic glitter and glam, beyond hyped up violence and romance. And beyond even the limitations of documentary in creating aura.
The Edge of Heaven happens to end with such lyrical highs, the name of the movie hits you hard. We are reminded of what exists beyond all the trappings that made so many people in the previous two hours so miserable, and it's there for us to tap into and to have in common, regardless.
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