Edge of Heaven, The (2008)
Director: Fatih Akin
Cast: Baki Davrak, Gürsoy Gemec, Gengiz Daner
Plot: A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.
Awards: Won Best Screenplay & nom. for Palme d'Or (Cannes).
Rating: M18 for mature themes.
IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: YES)
Fatih Akin has recently become an important voice for German cinema. Born in the city of
In competition for the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, The Edge of Heaven lost out in the race for the Palme d'Or, but deservingly bagged the Best Screenplay award. Akin, whose previous films include Head-On (2004), builds here an impressive character-driven motion picture that uses plot as only a sideshow, and he cleverly does not tie up all loose narrative threads when the film concludes.
As a result, The Edge of Heaven is powerful, thought-provoking, and occasionally makes us feel like we are watching the unfolding of a potential modern classic. It is a hyperlink film which connects the lives of different characters through a set of circumstances. Here, viewers can observe the links clearly. However, these links do not extend to the characters themselves. Therefore, the people in the film remain oblivious of the fact that at some points in their lives their paths cross.
Akin’s film is set out in three major parts; two of which whose starting frames read out as spoilers that reveal a certain character’s fate. While this may have diminished some of the film’s impact, it gives an air of inevitability to what will eventually happen, with the capacity to shock viewers into unacceptance.
The picture is shot on location, providing viewers with an authentic glimpse of exotic
The performances in the film are exceptional, especially Nurgul Yesilcay as Gul, a Turkish student fighting for equal rights and freedom. She is labeled a ‘terrorist’ in her country, but when her government does everything but listen to their people, it’s a false and unjustifiable claim.
The Edge of Heaven explores themes of loss, love, and most identifiably, actions and consequences that define fate. The ending is special - a lead character sits motionlessly on a sandy beach staring out at sea waiting and waiting… for hope or out of despair?
The scene remains on screen for a couple of minutes before the end titles appear, and continue to be on screen till the end of the credits. It is an effective and quietly powerful conclusion to a motion picture that rivals the quality of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s (
Click here to go back to Central Station.