Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side) (2007)
Critic Consensus: Evocative and complex, this story of struggling immigrants in Germany will stay with you after you leave the theater.
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The winner of the Best Screenplay award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, director Fatih Akin's deeply humanistic, multi-layered drama follows the stories of six people -- four Turks and two Germans -- as they realize the meaning of love while facing the harsh realities of the world we live in. Nejat is a second-generation Turkish immigrant living in Germany. His father Ali is a retired widower. When lonely Ali invites pretty prostitute Yeter to move in with him, Nejat makes no attempt to mask his disapproval. Nejat's opinion of Yeter begins to soften a bit, however, when he learns that she regularly sends tuition money to her daughter Ayten in Turkey. Suddenly, Yeter is dead, the unfortunate victim of Ali's violent temper. In the wake of Yeter's death, Nejat is determined to do the right thing for Ayten, and prepares to travel to Turkey to find the girl. But Ayten is a political activist who has recently fled from Turkey to Germany, where she befriended a German student named Lotte. Lotte's conservative mother Susanne isn't comfortable with her daughter's decision to invite a fugitive to live with their family, and when Ayten is arrested by German police and deported back to Turkey, the rebellious daughter rejects her mother and sets out in search of her friend. Later, in Istanbul, Nejat and Lotte are brought together by fate and Susanne is prompted to reexamine her values while searching for her daughter and being confronted with life on the other side. … More
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Critic Reviews for Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side)
What we don't suspect, going in, is that a film of such plain-speaking admonitions can exploit the element of surprise. Yet this heartfelt and precisely assembled drama does just that.
Propelled by the beautiful camerawork and scenery that moves back and forth between pastoral idyll and urban chaos as it takes the viewer on a journey that ends with a final image as quiet and beautiful as any in recent cinema.
Loneliness, loss and capricious love guide the fortunes of three families in this powerful, beautifully realized drama by German-Turkish writer/director Fatih Akin.
The Edge of Heaven explores topics as varied as the tensions that accompany multiculturalism and globalization to the simpler human drama of how individuals cope with losses for which they bear a portion of the responsibility.
The care that Akin expends on his people is skimped in the structure of his screenplay.
Audience Reviews for Auf der Anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven) (On the Other Side)
[size=3]"The Edge of Heaven" is a magical film that must be seen. It didn't receive a strong distribution deal in the United States (big surprise), so it will take effort to find it. But it is so worth the work. [/size]
[size=3]Germano-Turkish writer/ director [b]Faith Akin [/b]is one of the true greats. He and Joachim Trier ("Reprise") are the two most exciting young filmmakers in Europe today (one born in 1973, the other in 1974). "Edge of Heaven" sneaks up on you. It starts out matter-of-factly and slowly builds. Its superb sense of cinematic rhythm is a throwback to the age of Ingmar Bergman. The film gradually gathers emotional power until it bursts like a storm cloud. The last 20 minutes contain some of the most moving images of redemption and grace as you are likely ever to see in the cinema.[/size]
[size=3]"The Edge of Heaven" is the third-best film I've seen so far this year and is a must-see for anyone who cares about art. Immense thanks to Strand Releasing for getting this film into at least a few American movie theaters. What a terrifying statement about the current climate in America that a film of this quality can only find a distribution deal from the (heroic) micro-mini outfit Strand. Cinephiles all around the world are talking about this film, and America is barely interested.[/size]
[size=3]The film opens in Germany, where we meet an elderly working-class man of Turkish descent and his highly educated son, who is a professor of German Literature. Both are single and lead a quiet life together.[/size]
[size=3]The older man frequents a Turkish-born prostitute, who eventually becomes his live-in companion. The son quickly develops a deep respect for this woman, who was forced to abandon her daughter in Turkey and has struggled mightily to keep herself out of poverty in a foreign country and without education.[/size]
[size=3]A terrible accident occurs, the details of which I won't reveal, and the young professor begins a fascinating journey back to his homeland. This journey involves a search for the prostitute's daughter, whom we get to know as well. She is involved in radical politics in Turkey and becomes a fugitive, escaping to Germany to try to find her mother. [/size]
[size=3]In Germany, she falls in love with a young German woman, and we get to know this woman and her mother as well. The mother is played by legendary German actress [b]Hanna Schygulla[/b], who was Rainer Werner Fassbiner's muse, appearing in almost 25 of his films. [/size]
[size=3]Casting Schygulla, who does a remarkable job in "Edge of Heaven," was a perfect way for Akin to pay tribute to the New German Cinema that Fassbinder and Schygulla launched in the 1970s.[/size]
[size=3]"Edge of Heaven" is a film about suffering, poverty, overcoming, and forgiveness. Every character left standing at the end of the film (there is a considerable amount of violence) bears some blame and must be forgiven for something. Watching these characters wrestle with grudges and grace is tonic for the soul. [/size]
Gorgeously shot tale with sumptuous locations and a pleasing symmetry to the narrative. A variety of atypical actors and scenarios give it a real freshness.
[font=Century Gothic]Starting with a brief prelude at a gas station in Turkey, "The Edge of Heaven" is an exquisite movie that unfolds in three overlapping sections - Yeter's Death, Lotte's Death and The Edge of Heaven.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Yeter(Nursel Kose) is a prostitute from Turkey making her living in the red light district of Bremen where she meets a fellow Turk, Ali(Tuncel Kurtiz), who hires her out for a half hour. Ali is a widower and pensioner whose son, Nejat(Baki Davrak), is a professor at the university. Feeling lonely, Ali offers Yeter a more permanent arrangement which she accepts after being threatened by two of her fellow countrymen on the street.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Lotte(Patrycia Ziolkowska) is a university student who runs into an activist, Gul(Nurgul Yesilcay), from Turkey who is in the country illegally after most of her group were arrested by the police after a protest. At first, Lotte feeds her new friend, then shelters her, much to the dismary of her mother(Hanna Schygulla).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Written and directed by Fatih Akin, "The Edge of Heaven" is a thoughtful examination of two countries whose governments may be very different(The first two sections start with a Communist protest in each country. Germany's is peaceful. Turkey's is not.) but whose peoples are remarkably similar, giving great hope for the future, even if there is heartbreak in the present. As Turkey seeks to become a member of the European Union, the characters' perpetual movement causes the boundaries to blur which is expressed in the Turks who threaten Yeter in Germany and the German bookstore in Istanbul. [/font]
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