Fatih Akin, the prodigy director of the internationally acclaimed ‘Gegen Die Wand’ (Head-On), 2004’s Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear Winner, returns to the silver screens with another remarkable masterpiece,‘The Edge of Heaven’ which not only already got the Best Script Award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2007, but also a lot of international press even without before being released in many countries.
Just like in Akin’s previous movies, culture clash between the east and the west, racism, alienation, and loneliness are some of the main themes of his most recent movie, though his latest feature is a lot more complex and layered than to be simplified with these themes. The film follows the lives of various diverse Turkish and German characters as they cross borders, fall in love, lose love, get arrested,reconcile with their parents, in short, as they search to find their piece of heaven on earth. The movie centers around a young Turkish Philosophy Professor, Nejat, who leaves Germany in order to find Ayten, the missing daughter of his father’s former girlfriend. Meanwhile, in Turkey Ayten gets involved in illegal Political Activities and flees from Turkey in order to runaway from the Turkish Government that is after her. As these two characters, move from one city to another, they change the lives of every one around them by creating a chain reaction of events that oscillates between Turkey and Germany…
From the seedy slums of Germany, to the horrid Prisons of Turkey, Akin takes the viewer into a dark and unforgettable journey that starts at the darkest depths of hell ending at the Edge of Heaven.Fatih Akin, both as a director and as a writer, is incredibly bold and is never afraid to take its audience into the darkest and the most controversial spots of the World; though while doing this, he still maintains a neutral position concerning his characters and is never critical about any of his characters. Thus, in his films, nothing is purely black-and-white; this is clearly visible in even his secondary characters. In his films, no one gets judged or looked down on, all of his characters are real people with flows, some of these insignificant, while some of them are lethal. As a director and writer, Akin is interested at telling a believable but complex story, colored with great visuals,and inhabited by intriguing and well-developed characters. And that what Akin does masterfully in each of his films.
Compared to his previous films (‘In July’, ‘Head-On,’ and ‘Crossing The Bridge’) which are all unique films in their genre, still ‘Edge of Heaven’ stands out as Akin’s most intriguing, mature, and, inevitably, most political work. His work is political in the sense that he shows the world as complex and as diverse as it is, as opposed to the mainstream Cinema that tends the divide the world into simplistic and shallow categories like East/West, Christian/Muslim, Good/Evil.At a time, when the world is becoming more and more divided with these simple terms, Akin manages to deal with these terms in such a masterful and attentive way that the movie still ends without any concrete political statements about neither the west nor the east. This is solely what distinguishes him from the contemporary filmmakers that deals with the similar edgy and political themes. While most directors that enter in to this territory are trying to imprint their idealistic political agenda, Akin simply choses Cinema over making concrete political statements and delivers one impressive masterpiece after another. Thus, it can be postulated that perhaps these movies of Fatih Akin, especially ‘The Edge of Heaven,’ make one general political statement that is valid both for the east and the west; that is as long as we think of the world only within these shallow dividing territories, we will never reach even to the Edge of Heaven, let alone Heaven itself.