Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), a Turkish immigrant, has resettled in Bremen. Ali frequents brothels, a habit which leads him to Yeter (Nursel Köse), a middle-aged Turkish prostitute who works from the doorway of the brothel. Due to a misunderstanding, Yeter receives death threats from a group of Turkish men, thus prompting Ali to propose that he pay for her to move in with him on a permanent basis. She accepts – a decision which sparks a chain reaction of incidents, taking us on a journey from Bremen to Istanbul, from family to family in a character-driven drama which spirals compellingly towards its stunning finale.
The Edge of Heaven won the prize for Best Screenplay at last years Cannes Film Festival, and deservedly so. Writer-Director Fatih Akin presents us with a complicated tapestry of human emotions and misunderstandings. Moving effortlessly between Turkey and Germany, the film centres around four characters searching for love, meaning and each other.
Akin’s script really is the star of this film
Ayten, a Turkish asylum seeker, desperately searches for her mother Yeter; while Nejat a Turkish-born German professor, owing a debt to Yeter, searches for Ayten. In addition, there is the painful relationship between Nejat his Turkish born Father Ali.
The Edge of Heaven is Akin’s follow up to his successful feature Head on. He wanted to make a film that explores relationships: not just boy/girl ones but those between parents and children. And he has indeed excelled.
I was terribly moved by the plight of all the characters. Their stories are intelligently played out against a vibrant political backdrop that poses many questions without clear cut answers. And the cast are all superb, bringing a depth and energy to their roles. But Akin’s script really is the star of this film. It is dense, thrilling and exquisitely inspired. He is a filmmaker with so much to say and a great way of saying it.
Akin regards The Edge of Heaven as part of a trilogy that began with Head On, I personally can’t wait to see his third instalment.
For anyone interested in tremendous storytelling, I highly recommend this film, 4.5 stars.