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Posted October 1, 2010
Some Keen Observations of Parent Child Relationships
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE) is a superb piece of writing by writer/director Fatih Akin - a study essentially about family fragility and strength as heightened by the immigrant struggles that both bond and divide. It is an intelligent film, well acted, and presented in a challenging manner that defines it as an art film of the first order. <BR/><BR/>We are given three families to inspect, families whose paths cross not only by coincidence by also by a common 'border' between Germany and Turkey - a division that provides not only tension and emphasis in separation and communication flaws in relationships, but also allows the sensitive cinematographer the opportunity to contrast the dark German portions with the hot light of the Turkish segments. <BR/><BR/>The film opens innocently enough with a scene where young professor Nejat (Baki Davrak), a Turkish immigrant teaching in Germany, stops for gas - an ordinary event in life that will be recapitulated at movie's close. Nejat's elderly father Ali Aksu (Yuncel Kurtiz) wanders the red light district and encounters a Turkish immigrant hooker Yeter (Nusel Kose) whom he invites to come live with him for the same money that she would make in prostitution. The home setting (Nejat, Ali, Yeter) is flawed and at the moment of dissolution Yeter dies accidentally during an altercation with Ali. Ali is jailed and Nejat feels compelled to go to Istanbul to find and assist Yeter's daughter. Meanwhile Yeter's daughter Ayten (Nurgut Yesilcay) is participating in anti government demonstrations and manages to flee to Germany to find her mother and is befriended by Lotte (Patrycia Ziokowska), a student whose mother Susanne (Hanna Schygulla) disapproves of Lotte's relationship with Ayten. Ayten is forced to flee to Istanbul, Lotte follows and tragedy occurs. In a manner of twists and turns and fast-forwards and reflective moments the three families (Nejat/Ali, Yeter/Ayten, and Susanne/Lotte) intersect, always propelled by the need for acceptance and love and succor. <BR/><BR/>The levels of interpretation are many and writer/director Fatih Akin serves them well. The superb cinematography is in the masterful hands of Rainer Klausmann and the musical score is enhanced by recordings of a late Turkish artist as integrated by composer Shantel . This is a stunning, fast paced, emotionally involving film filled with pleas of understanding of many problems that daily call for our attention. In Turkish, German an English with subtitles. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.