The Edge of Heaven (2007)
A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.
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.
- The film opens outside a gas station where the main character, Nejat Aksu, pulls up and gets outs. He goes into the store and grabs water, food, and gas before heading back on to the road.
The film cuts to just a black screen with the words "YETER'S DEATH" written in the middle.
The film opens back up with several exterior shots of German statues and buildings. Outside, there's a protest with one sign reading "PROLETARIANS OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!" Outside, we see Ali Aksu, Nejat's father; he walks away from the protest and ultimately ends up in the Red Light District. Ali finds a girl he likes and asks for her name, she tells him it's Jessy. They negotiate a rate, and Ali enters Jessy's office. They exchange small talk and Ali finds out that Jessy's real name is Yeter, and that she's actually Turkish. Yeter doesn't like the small talk between the two, and instead, goes straight to work.
As they exchange goodbyes, two men pass by and hear Yeter speaking to Ali in Turkish. They stop and stare at her. She closes her window and pulls over the drapes.
The film cuts to a shot of Nejat on a train, then a shot of Nejat walking on the street. He gets to his an apartment and goes inside. Nejat walks in and greets Ali, his dad. Nejat gives Ali a book to read "Selim Ozdogan's Demircinin Kizi", while Ali is preparing dinner. After dinner, Nejat is seen reading a newspaper as Ali waters plants. Ali tells Nejat that an Iranian friend of his gave him an inside scoop on a horse race (he tells him to bet on "Sunshine of Life").
At the horse race, we see "Sunshine of Life" win; Ali and Nejat celebrate the victory and collect the money won. With the extra cash, Ali takes Nejat to get some ice cream. While eating their ice cream, Ali asks Nejat if there's anybody he's "screwing". Nejat responds with, "A gentlemen doesn't answer such questions." He leaves and tells his dad to read the book that he brought him.
Next, we see Nejat speaking to a small group of students in a classroom. One of the students is seen asleep during his entire lecture.
The film cuts to sounds of Ali and Yeter having intercourse. Yeter demands that Ali hurry and finish. After they're done, Ali proposes that Yeter live with him and sleep with him only. And that he's willing to pay for her services, full time. He leaves his number and tells her to think about it.
Yeter, in regular clothing, hops on to a bus. The same two men who we saw earlier (the ones who heard her speaking Turkish) follow her, and sit right next to her on the bus. They speak to her in Turkish, and she pretends to not understand; they tell her that they overheard her speaking Turkish (to Ali). They tell her that they know she's a Turk and a Muslim. After this, Yeter gives in and responds in Turkish. They tell her that she is on the wrong path and that she has to repent. She repents. They tell her that they don't wanna catch her working at the brothel, again. The bus stops and the two men leave.
The film cuts to Ali smoking and drinking in a sports bar. Yeter meets him there. They discuss the finer points of Ali's proposal; he tells her that he is serious and they agree on $3,000 a month. Ali tells her that all he wants her for is sex, and he won't demand more than that. She tells him she is hungry, and to take her to dinner - he agrees, and they leave the bar.
The film cuts to Nejat, Ali, and Yeter all having dinner together, in Ali's backyard. They discuss Ali and Nejat's family history; Nejat's mother passed away when he was 6 months old, and Ali remarried a widow with a daughter, but the marriage didn't work out and they are long gone now. Yeter tells them that she is a widow as well. Her husband was shot in Maras in 1978. Yeter also asks if Nejat is really a college professor, which he states that he is. When Yeter insists on grabbing the dessert, Nejat warns his dad not to drink too much. Ali tells him he's not, as he chugs down a glass of alcohol.
Nejat is seen carrying his drunk dad to his bed. Ali warns Nejat not to sleep with Yeter, since she's his. Nejat walks out of the room as Ali drunkenly yells for Yeter.
Nejat is seen back in the backyard having a speaking with Yeter. He asks how they met and she tells him that she is a hooker. Nejat is surprised and Yeter tells him "good night". Seconds later Yeter yells for Nejat. He rushes in to the house and screams for his dad.
The film cuts to Nejat and Yeter waiting inside a hospital. They are met by a doctor who tells them that Ali had a serious heart attack, and that he is in critical condition. They will have to perform emergency surgery on his artery, and they will have to keep him for a while to study his condition. Nejat asks if they can see him, but the doctor tells him no and that they should come back tomorrow morning.
Nejat and Yeter are seen on a bus. He asks her if she has any kids, she tells him that she has a daughter. He asks how old she is, Yeter tells him 27. He asks if her daughter knows what she does for a living, Yeter tells him that her daughter thinks she works in a shoe shop. And that she occasionally sends her shoes. Yeter also tells him that she wanted her daughter to be smart and educated, like him.
The film cuts to Ali in his hospital bed, complaining about how horrible aging is; Yeter is next to him on his bed, and Nejat is standing across the hospital room listening to his dad. Ali reminds Nejat to water the tomatoes.
The film cuts to Nejat and Yeter in Ali's backyard; Nejat is seen watering the tomatoes. Yeter tells him that the tomatoes are ripe for plucking. Nejat grabs one and tries it. He asks if she'd like one and she replies with a yes. Nejat gives her one and tells her they should take some to Ali. She begins to cry. He asks her what's wrong and she tells him that she misses her daughter. Yeter tells him that she hasn't heard from her in a very long time, and she has no clue where she went. Nejat comforts her.
The film cuts to Nejat going to sleep on the couch. Then to Yeter going to sleep on her bed.
Next, Yeter is seen cooking in the kitchen while Nejat and Ali are seen in the living room. Ali asks Nejat if he screwed Yeter; Nejat is seen in disbelief, he refuses to answer, and walks away. Yeter brings Ali some borek, but he refuses to eat it due to doctor's orders. Ali lights up a cigarette and Nejat yells at him. Ali tells Nejat that he has his life to live, and Nejats has his. Nejat grabs his things, kisses Yeter on the cheek and leaves - but before he can reach the door, Yeter grabs him some food and gives it to him for his journey.
The film cuts to a shot of Nejat on a train; the conductor can be heard making an announcement over the loud speaker about arriving in Hamburg. Nejat is next seen in his house, in a study surrounded by books. He grabs the food that Yeter gave him earlier, and begins to eat it.
The film cuts to Ali and Yeter in Ali's backyard; Ali is reading a newspaper and Yeter is painting her toenails. Ali asks her if she slept with his son, she accuses him of being drunk. He takes a sip from a beer and walks towards her. He begins to grab her breasts, and she moves away telling him not to touch her. Ali stays persistent and moves on to touching her inner legs. She tells him to stop. Ali tells her that he's already paid for her, and now he wants sex. Yeter claims that he doesn't own her, to which Ali responds that he does. He gets close to her face and tells her to give him a French job; at which point, Yeter decides to get up and leave to go inside the house. Ali follows her.
Inside the house, Yeter is seen packing and Ali storms in telling her she's not going anywhere. She marches towards Ali and tells him that she can go wherever she wants and that she's seen plenty of people like him. As she pushes him, Ali responds and smacks Yeter in the face. Her head hits a cabinet and she falls down. She lays lifeless as Ali cries over her body.
The film cuts to a shot of Ali being put in a jail cell. He looks around, and opens the window in the room; there are bars behind the windows. The film then cuts to a Turkish airport where a casket can be seen being taken out of an airplane, and transported into a truck. Nejat is at the airport watching the transfer occur.
The film cuts to the burial of the casket. Nejat is watching on from the outside, with a group of mourners. Next, Nejat is seen in a living room with Ayten's (Yeter's daughter) family. They tell him that she has been gone for a few months and they have no idea where she went. The last they heard, she was studying, either economics, sociology, or medicine; they don't really know. Nejat asks for a picture of her but the family only has baby pictures. He comes across a picture of Yeter and asks if he can have that one. They respond by tell him that it is a picture of Ayten's mother, but that he can take it.
Nejat and his cousin leave and as they're walking up a street, his cousin asks Nejat where he will stay. Nejat tells him that he will be staying in a hotel, his cousin insists that Nejat stay with him, but Nejat refuses, saying he likes his privacy. And that he will stay in Istanbul as long as it takes for him to find Ayten.
The film cuts to Nejat at a cop station. He is looking for Ayten with the help of their search engine. The cop helping him takes him upstairs to an investigator. The investigator asks Nejat why he is looking for her; Nejat responds that he wants to fund her education. The investigator shows him files of tons of other children in their system, and asks if he would rather help educate them.
The film cuts to a wall filled with flyers with Yeter's face on them. Nejat and his cousin are the ones putting them up. Nejat hopes that someone will see them and recognize Yeter on it. The flyers are scattered throughout random spots in the city. The cousins stop at a German book store, which has a FOR SALE sign in front. Nejat's cousin is not interested in German books and leaves for his workshop, he takes a few flyers with him. Nejat walks inside the bookstore. Nejat introduces himself to the owner, and asks why he's selling the bookstore. The owner tells him that he misses Germany, the language, the culture, and that ultimately, he's homesick. Nejat asks how much the store costs and the owner asks what he does for a living. Nejat tells him that he is a German professor and the owner points out that it would be fitting that a Turkish professor that teaches German ends up owning a German bookstore in Turkey. Nejat agrees.
The film cuts to Nejat meeting with his cousin. His cousin asks if this means Nejat will be staying in Turkey longer, and about his job as a teacher. Nejat says that teaching may not be his calling. His cousin then asks about his father, and Nejat says that, "a murderer is not my father."
Next, the film cuts to random roads that Nejat is traveling through. He goes long distances, several roads, time passes.
The film cuts to a black screen with the words, "LOTTE'S DEATH" written in the middle.
There are high angle shots from a helicopter of a PKK protest occurring. The film cuts closer into the protest, and a cop appears that scatters a crowd. The armed cop shoots 3 bullets in the air before being struck from behind by a citizen. His gun drops and the crowd of protesters jump on him. His gun slides to the feet of a masked protester, who picks it up and continues walking.
The masked protester, Ayten, walks along a less crowded street, and is followed by an undercover cop, who walkie-talkies her whereabouts. He continues to pursue her as a swarm of cops follow behind him. In the middle of the chase, she drops her phone. The undercover cop picks it up and goes through her phonebook. Ayten goes into an apartment complex and runs to the rooftop; but the door to the top is locked. She hears the police coming. A resident of the complex opens her door and sees Ayten, and her situation; she unlocks the door to the rooftop for her. The undercover cop and a few uniformed cops go upstairs but the locked door keeps them from pursuing.
Ayten hides the gun on the rooftop. After that, she is seen on a boat.
The police raid a house filled with women who yell, "Long live the resistance!" As the girls are being pulled from their house to the police bus, they yell their names out to the streets. The cops leave and people in the street applaud; Ayten is in the crowd and walks away.
We see Ayten at the Hamburg Airport, she uses a fake passport to smuggle into Germany. Two men meet her at the airport and take her to a refuge where other members of her political party stay. Ayten borrows money from one of the men from the airport.
Ayten is next seen in a bar speaking on the telephone. She asks the operator for the whereabouts of Yeter. The operator tells her that she is not listed. Ayten looks through a phonebook, under the shoe section. She circles spots on a map of possible shoe locations, but to no avail.
Back at the refuge, Ayten and the man who lent her money get into an argument over the 100 euros he let her borrow. The argument escalates and eventually she gets thrown out of the camp.
Next, we see her outside a university. She sneaks into the library and sleeps. The film cuts to a shot of Ayten sleeping in Nejat's lecture. She is seen showering in the public restroom (through the sinks). She is then seen outside, on campus. She stops a student, Lotte, and asks if she has any money for food; Lotte agrees and they go into the cafeteria. The two have lunch and introduce each other. Through the conversation, Ayten reveals that she is not a student and homeless.
Lotte takes Ayten to her house and introduces Ayten to her mother, Susanne. Lotte gives her clothes, and a room to stay in, against her mother's wishes.
Ayten and Lotte are next seen in a nightclub, indulging in alcohol and smoking. Later, outside the nightclub, the two passionately embrace in a kiss. The two arrive back at their house in the morning; Susanne witnesses it from her room. The two begin to eat leftovers in the kitchen. They leave their mess and Susanne is seen cleaning up after them. Ayten and Lotte are seen in bed, naked and lying next to each other.
Ayten walks in to the kitchen with Susanne already in there. Ayten says, "Good Morning," and Susanne tells her that, "it's noon." The two get into a heated political conversation, concerning the European union and Ayten's political stance. Susanne reminds Ayten that it is her house and she cannot speak to her in a disrespectful tone. Ayten waits outside the house as Lotte pulls up; she gets out and Ayten cries, asking Lotte to help her find her mother. Susanne is watching through a window. Ayten and Lotte get in her car and go searching. On the road, the car passes a bus, the camera moves up and reveals Nejat and Yeter are riding on it.
The film cuts to night time, and a police car pull Lotte and Ayten over. The cops tell them that they're pulling them over for not wearing their seat belts. Ayten freaks out and decides to make a run for it. She is caught, captured and processed. Next, the two go to a hotel, where Lotte comforts Ayten.
The film cuts to a court scene where a panel of judges deny Ayten's plea for asylum. Ayten is to be deported back to Turkey, where she will be immediately imprisoned and sentenced.
At Lotte's house, she searches ferociously for her passport. She accuses her mother of hiding it from her and starts tearing her room apart looking for it. Susanne notices the passport on top of the desk and points out how blind Lotte is. Lotte leaves home and is next seen in Turkey.
Lotte goes to an embassy looking to help Ayten; from there she is redirected to a lawyer. At the lawyer's, Lotte realizes the severity of Ayten's case - she faces a 10-15 year sentence. She asks the lawyer if she can visit Ayten in prison, but the lawyer tells her that it's nearly impossible if they're not related. Lotte is devastated and begins to cry; the lawyer tells her he might be able to get her a permit, but it'll take a month or two. He also tells her not to mention Ayten's name to anyone.
The film cuts to Lotte on a phone with her mom. The two argue over what Lotte is doing with her life; her mother wants her to come home and continue her studies, Lotte feels that, for the first time, her life has a purpose: helping Ayten. Susanne asks her how she'll help her, in a foreign land where she knows no one, and has no money. Susanne begs her to come back home, but Lotte refuses. Her mother hangs up on her.
The film cuts to the German bookstore, now with Nejat as the owner. Lotte walks in and asks Nejat if she can hang a flyer on his board, he agrees. She puts a card next to Nejat's flyer with Yeter on it. She goes back to Nejat and ask if he has any books on Turkey's legal system. He gives her an Amnesty International book. As Nejat is ready to close the bookstore, he is forced to kick Lotte out. She asks if she can borrow the book, and Nejat tells her it's not a library. He then notices her card on the board and tells her that he has a room for rent.
As Nejat and Lotte walk to his apartment, he asks her about her curiosity with Turkey's legal system. She tells him that she has a girlfriend in prison and she has no idea why. Nejat ask what her name is, and Lotte makes up a fake name, protecting Ayten's identity (like her lawyer suggested).
Inside the apartment, Nejat shows Lotte the available room for rent. She decides to move in.
At the prison, we see Ayten playing volleyball. She is taken aside by one of her political group's leaders; the leader asks about the whereabouts of the gun Ayten found earlier, Ayten wants to know how she can trust her. The leader gets furious and threatens Ayten as she leaves.
The film cuts to Lotte walking out of her apartment, then on a boat. She goes through a security check before finally meeting with Ayten in jail. The two hold hands during their meeting and Ayten slips Lotte a piece of paper. The info on the paper is a detailed map about where to find the gun.
Lotte follows the directions and is next seen at the apartment complex where the gun was stashed. The door to the rooftop is locked; Lotte knocks on the door of the resident who unlocked the door for Ayten earlier on. It cuts to Lotte on the rooftop, finding the gun where Ayten hid it.
Next, Lotte is seen walking down a street, where he purse is stolen by a group of children. The group splits up eventually, but she follows the kid carrying her purse. The kid hides in an alleyway and loses Lotte.
The film cuts to three kids crowding around her purse. They discover the gun. Lotte walks by and recognizes the children and her purse. She gets closer and confronts the kids; one of them grabs the gun and points it her. He fires and Lotte dies. The children drop the gun and run away.
The film cuts to Ayten in a police station. Two men talk to her in an office and ask who she saw yesterday. Ayten refuses to cooperate. The men tell her they could care less about her political affiliations, they're here due to an international crisis. They inform her that the person who visited her was shot and found dead 5 hours after their meeting. The news is a shock to Ayten, it leaves her speechless as the men ask her questions.
Next, we see a coffin being transferred on to a plane, from a Turkish airport.
The film cuts to a black screen, with the words "The Edge of Heaven" written in the middle.
At the Turkish airport, we see Ali, after being deported from Germany, being accompanied by policemen. The camera moves up a little bit and we see Susanne there, as well.
Susanne checks into a hotel room, drinks some liquor and falls asleep. In the middle of the night, she is seen crying, uncontrollably. Morning comes and she is seen on the phone leaving a voicemail on Nejat's answering machine. She stays fettled in one position as time lapses. She eventually gets up and walks into the lobby. There, she meets Nejat.
Nejat asks if she'd like to get food, she responds by telling him that she'd like to see Lotte's room. The two share a cab and discuss Istanbul the last time Susanne visited, which was 10 years ago.
Nejat shows her Lotte's room and Susanne asks to be left alone with her daughter's belongings. Susanne is seen reading Lotte's diary, discovering that her daughter understood her better than she thought. She slowly falls alseep and wakes up to a hallucination of Lotte standing over her, smiling.
The film cuts to Ali at a park, reading Selim Ozdogan's "Demircinin Kizi" (the book Nejat gave him in the beginning). He puts the book down and is seen with watery eyes.
At the bookstore, Nejat's cousin explains his father's whereabouts. The cousin leaves and asks if anyone has responded to his flyer with Yeter on it. Nejat shoves a pile of books on the floor, clearly frustrated. As he closes the bookstore, he grabs the flyer off the board and tears it down.
Nejat walks to his apartment and finds Susanne waiting outside. She asks if she could stay with him for a while. in Lotte's old room. Nejat helps her in, and the two go out to lunch.
At lunch, Nejat asks Susanne what they should toast, she tells him "death", and the two drink. She also tells him that she's in the mood to get drunk; he tells her he might join her. Susanne then asks if she could possibly move in with him and pay rent. He agrees.
Susanne visits Ayten in prison, and Ayten begs her for forgiveness. Susanne tells her that she is there to help her, to finish Lotte's mission. She tells Ayten to stop blaming herself. Ayten is then taken back to her room.
The film cuts to a morning scene, where Susanne is seen looking outside a window. Nejat walks next to her and she asks what all the people in the street are doing. He tells her that they're all going to the mosque to celebrate the first day of Bayram, the three day festival of sacrifice. Susanne asks him what the sacrifice is and Nejat tells her the Islamic story of God testing Ibrahim's faith. Susanne acknowledges that they share the same story. He tells her that he used to ask his dad if he would be willing to sacrifice him. Susanne asks what his dad would say, and Nejat tells her that his dad said he would make God his enemy, in order to protect him. She asks if his father is still alive, and Nejat nods yes. He then asks if she could look after his bookstore for him for a couple of days.
The film cuts to a similar shot of what it opened up with; Nejat pulls up to a gas station and grabs food, water, and gas. He heads back on the road, he passes Filyos, and at night, he ends up in the city of Trabzon.
At the prison, we see Ayten saying goodbye to fellow inmates. As she walks, her political group's leader stops her and asks if she has repented. Ayten says yes, and the leader spits in her face. Ayten walks away. She is next seen on a boat, and ends up at the bookstore. She meets with Susanne and the two discuss where she will stay. They embrace in a hug and leave the bookstore. The board with Nejat's flyer with Yeter, Ayten's mother, is no longer up.
At a country side, Nejat pulls over and asks a villager if she knows where Ali is; she tells him that he has gone fishing. He gets to the sea and asks a fisherman if he knows where Ali is; the fisherman tells him that he is out at sea, but that he should be back soon, since the water is getting choppy. Nejat sits in front of the sea, and waits.
The film's credits start rolling as Nejat sits waiting.