German Cinema 101 – Film and Discussion with Hester Baer, Associate Professor and Head of Germanic Studies at the University of Maryland
Germany/Turkey, 2007, 122 min., Director: Fatih Akin, Screenplay: Fatih Akin, Cast: Baki Davrak, Tuncel Kurtiz, Nursel Köse, Production: Corazón International, Anka Film
Fatih Akin’s trilogy “Love, Death, and the Devil” kicked off in 2003 with the multi-award-winning melodrama Head-On
, a tale of excessive and destructive passion. He resumes the series with The Edge of Heaven
, a six-character rondo of a strikingly different tone. The film moves at a gentle pace, adopts a balladic narrative, and explores deep philosophical questions about death and what happens afterwards—to the deceased and to those left behind on earth as well. It is the story of six people whose lives intertwine in Hamburg and Istanbul, and who mature and transform after encountering death. Akin views it as his “most spiritual film”.
was born and bred in Hamburg in a Turkish immigrant family. As a filmmaker, he unvaryingly depicts outsiders in his films whose lives oscillate between Germany and Turkey. Akin endeavors to integrate into his work the full scope of cultural contrasts which have shaped his existence: divergences between urban western and traditional Turkish culture, between high culture and pop, between political engagement and a spiritual quest for meaning, between generations and male and female role models.
Akin is a self-confessed fan of pop icon Prince, likes to spin Balkan pop behind the decks, and is also a lover of classical music. His passionate and deferential documentary exploring Istanbul’s lively music scene, Crossing the Bridge
(2002), in which he depicted a tremendously multi-faceted musical panorama encompassing everything from experimental jazz and pop to traditional folk music, reflects his incredibly varied tastes. What sets Akin apart is the way he views the search for identity not as a process of exclusion, but rather as an enquiring, candid, and passionate quest to establish if, and how, contrasting spheres of life can interact with one another. It is no coincidence, then, that the progression of his various works is also a play of contrasts.
This event is part of the German Cinema 101