Cahit Tomruk (played by Birol Ünel) is a German of Turkish descent in his 40s. He has given up on life after the death of his wife. Furthermore, the anguish in his soul continues to cry out for cocaine and alcohol to numb his pain. One night, he intentionally crashes into a wall (hence the title), and barely survives. At the psychiatric clinic he is taken to, Sibel Güner (Sibel Kekilli), another German Turk who has tried to commit suicide, approaches him. She asks Cahit to carry out a formal marriage with her out of the blue so that she can break out of the strict rules of her conservative family. Cahit is turned off by the idea at first, but then he agrees to take part in this plan. As Sibel tells him frankly that she prefers an independent sex life, they live as roommates with separate private lives for a while. They eventually fall in love, and things take a different turn as Cahit kills one of her lovers out of anger and thus he has to go to prison. While he is in prison, she goes to Istanbul, to which he follows her upon his release. Upon arrival, he finds that she has re-married and now has a daughter. Sibel’s cousin Selma does not tell Cahit how to find her, so he waits in a hotel for Sibel’s call. It eventually comes. He asks her to run away with him, and she agrees to, but never shows. The film ends with Cahit on a bus, presumably traveling to the town where he was born. —Wikipedia
Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg of Turkish parentage. He began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg’s College of Fine Arts in 1994. His collaboration with Wüste Film also dates from this time. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, Sensin – You’re The One! (Sensin – Du Bist Es!), which received the Audience Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival. His second short film, Weed (Getuerkt, 1996), received several national and international festival prizes. His first full length feature film, Short Sharp Shock (Kurz Und Schmerzlos, 1998) won the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bavarian Film Award (Best Young Director) in 1998. His other films include: In July (Im Juli, 2000), Wir Haben Vergessen Zurueckzukehren (2001), Solino (2002), the Berlinale Golden Bear-winner and winner of the German and European Film Awards Head-On (Gegen Die Wand, 2003), and Crossing the Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul (2005). —World Cinema Foundation read more
A near-perfect and unconventional tale of amour fou between two potential suicides. Kekilli and Ünel are pure chemistry and there’s no need to say the music in this is immaculately brilliant. Just loved every minute.
Depicts love with the sheer ferocity and constant intensity with which we experience it. A viscerally thrilling romantic drama (which is an uncommon thing, in my experience).
Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen won the Special Jury Prize in Venice and screens today, tomorrow and Saturday in Toronto. "So over-the
Head-on is essentially a love story (as well as a cultural one) about two second-generation Turks in Germany who marry to escape – Sibel to escape the her family’s oppressive, tradition-bound expectations… read review