7.9/10
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The Edge of Heaven (2007)

Auf der anderen Seite (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 27 September 2007 (Germany)
A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.

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33 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gürsoy Gemec ...
Sohn des Tankstelleninhabers
Cengiz Daner ...
Tankstelleninhaber
...
...
...
Idil Üner ...
Ärztin
Erkan Can ...
Cousin Ufuk
Turgay Tanülkü ...
Cem
Elcim Eroglu ...
Elcim
Nurten Güner ...
Nurten
Asuman Altinay ...
Türkan
Gökhan Kiraç ...
Junger Polizeibeamter
...
Kommissar
Lars Rudolph ...
Herr Obermüller
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Storyline

Nejat seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey,where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten. Written by omayra73@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 September 2007 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Edge of Heaven  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,593 (USA) (25 May 2008)

Gross:

$741,283 (USA) (12 October 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Ali was written specially for veteran Turkish actor Tuncel Kurtiz. See more »

Goofs

In the film, the year is 2006 and it is the Festival of Sacrifices (Kurban Bayrami), a religious holiday. Everybody is in summer clothes and many of them are sweating. The Festival of Sacrifices in 2006 in Turkey was in winter, at the end of December. See more »

Quotes

story: After telling the story of Abraham that was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismael, to show God his obedience. Before Abraham could slay his son God sent a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Nejat Aksu: I asked my dad if he would have sacrificed me as well.
Susanne Staub: And what did he say?
Nejat Aksu: That he would even make an enemy of God to protect me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Towards the end of the credits, details about the book Nejat gives to his father are given (it's a Turkish translation of "Die Tochter des Schmieds" by Selim Özdogan) with a request to read it: "Lest dieses Buch, Leute!" ("Read this book, people!") Selim Özdogan is a friend of Fatih Akin. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fatih Akin - Tagebuch eines Filmreisenden (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Camburnu
Performed by Yusuf Kaba
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Once every few years, a film this touching comes along
22 July 2008 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I usually comment on films right after I've seen them. However, "Auf der anderen Seite" (The Edge of Heaven), touched me in a way that few films do, so a month has passed.

This story of two sets of mothers and daughters, a father and his son...and a gun seems familiar, but its resolution is anything but. To lay out the plot would be daunting. So much ground is covered, yet it unfolds effortlessly. F a t i h Akin's screenplay is elliptical--the story starts where it finishes--but by the end, when the opening scene is replayed, our journey with these characters puts us, indeed, on the edge of transcendence.

Amid the desperation on display, small details brim over the images: a son waters his father's tomato plants pausing to taste the ripened fruit, a mother pits cherries that stain her fingers, another manicures her nails to avoid a quarrel, we imagine a bookstore's--specifically a German language bookstore in Istanbul--smell and the safety it can bring to a foreigner.... These domestic details are set against much larger, although finally insignificant, struggles: the cultural divide of immigrants, students revolting against an oppressive government, how imprisonment can deaden the soul. But F a t i h Akin wants the basic struggles of family bonds to be central here. It's the resolution of family rifts--small and large, emotional and physical--that are urgent.

The choice of settings, music, lighting... all carefully selected to build toward one moment that catches us off guard. When a foreigner asks "What is Kurban Bayrami?" (a Turkish holiday) the many seemingly disparate elements that we've been watching--in good faith because they're so rivetingly told--suddenly come together, it almost knocked the breath out of me.

Whether or not we as viewers have lost a father or mother or a child, through death, physical separation or emotional turmoil, we can understand what these characters suffer. And how all that can be healed—the willingness to have faith that good intentions can mend this troubled world—is something like a miracle to find illustrated on film. The weapons these characters lay down to pursue goodness don't necessarily have the effect they intend, but as we watch lives torn apart and then healed we see what they don't. And we carry that lesson out of theater with us.


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