The Edge of Heaven
Life is all about coincidences isn’t it? About paths that cross or almost don’t, separated by mere whiskers of chance or often cross too late. There are ample hints of that and then some in the German born Turkish director Fatih Akin’s feature “The Edge of Heaven”. Coincidences are a valuable tool in the hands of a director, in one less accomplished they risk being trite but not so in this movie. Here an exploration of cross cultural bonds including the sameness that binds us and the differences that set us apart is done in a manner that is human, appealing, will bowl you over and yet it is done with almost an air of distance. I do not use word detachment, there isn’t any in this wonderful human drama that encompasses two nations
I liked that Akin does not come out for one versus the other it is likely born of his presence in dual worlds and cultures an experience a lot of us could use.
In a nutshell this film to quote the NYTime’s A.O. Scott is about..
There are six principal characters in “The Edge of Heaven”: two mothers, two daughters, a father and a son, all arranged in more or less symmetrical pairs. In the course of this extraordinary film by the German writer-director Fatih Akin (which won the best screenplay award in
I loved the camera work, it has done a great job of recording the myriad human emotions on the actors and also set up the moody feel that pervades this movie. I loved how it began with the camera panning across the dusty path of ground, a gas station that a car has pulled up at. Heck I thought it could be some place in
The second scene is in
While one might argue that letting the user know about this before hand would take away from the dramatic effect of the event, but it does not and this technique is used once again to great effect as yet another life is lost aimlessly at the hand of a child holding a weapon.
Shades of the movie babel? I was reminded of that after that scene but there is also the chronologically disordered way events unfold in the movie, some may find it confusing but I thought it served a very good purpose, it kept you thinking about what was happening.
The move shifts to
In a tragic episode Lotte dies led down the path by Ayten who sees her in prison and asks her to help retrieve something for her friends. Her grief stricken mother Suzanne arrives in
As Nejat goes to the seaside village where his father now estranged and deported from
The movie did not tie up any loose ends and I think that was ok. Life is hardly that simple. The movie did a splendid job of exploring the maps of human relationships, between father and sons, mothers and daughters and the forces that draw us close or force us apart.
Akin’s directorial skills were very obvious in some of the scenes I mentioned above, but there were many more. The scene of coffins being loaded off and on planes… Yeter’s journey back home and Lotte’s too.
There is also the scene where Ayten’s accomplices are captured and they shout out their names as the police drag them away, and the neighbors watching applaud. What are they applauding the police or the revolutionaries?
The landscapes of
I am glad I got to watch this movie, I recently also finished watching “Head-On” and can hardly wait to watch his documentary on the music scene in