The Edge of Heaven
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The Edge of Heaven

Germany, 2007, 122 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Activism, Coming Out, Drama, Immigration / Exile, Lesbian, Middle Eastern, Muslim / Islam, Parenting / Family, Politics
Program: World Cinema
Language: German, Turkish

DIRECTOR: Fatih Akin

Gifted German-Turkish director Fatih Akin (Head-On, 2004) returns with a border-hopping, gender-bopping, culture-clashing drama of sneaky power and uncommon grace. Interweaving six characters and three stories, Akin ably depicts the fluidity of 21st century European political and sexual identity. Winner of the Best Screenplay award at Cannes last year, Akin effortlessly transforms coincidences and contrivances into a profound tale of redemption and reconciliation.
Hamburg professor Nejat is at first suspicious of his elderly father’s unlikely paramour, a middle-aged Turkish prostitute named Yeter. But he and Yeter form a bond, and after tragedy strikes he treks to Istanbul to locate her daughter. It turns out that Ayten is a political activist who’s had to flee to Germany. Stranded and broke, she’s befriended by Lotte, a college student who lives with her mother (Fassbinder favorite Hana Schygulla). Ayten and Lotte become lovers, their complicated relationship fraught with secrets. When Ayten returns to Turkey, the smitten Lotte defies her mother and follows. A stranger in a strange land, willing to do anything for her gal, Lotte makes a grievous mistake.
Eventually the threads are untangled, the missed connections get patched through and a new circle — and a new family — is created. Stunningly acted and beautifully photographed, The Edge of Heaven also boasts a typically eclectic Akin soundtrack that freely mixes genres and fuses rhythms. If you listen closely, you can hear borders dissolving. — MICHAEL FOX

co-presented by

Goethe Institut of San Francisco


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