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Head-On (2004)
"Gegen die Wand" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 34,024 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 82 user | 122 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

In 'Gegen die Wand' Cahit, a 40-something male from Mersin in Turkey has removed everything Turkish from his life. He has become an alcoholic drug addict and at the start of the movie wants... See full summary »

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Title: Head-On (2004)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Güven Kiraç ...
Seref
Zarah Jane McKenzie ...
Barfrau in der Fabrik (as Zarah McKenzie)
Stefan Gebelhoff ...
Nico
Catrin Striebeck ...
Maren
Francesco Fiannaca ...
Mann am Tresen
Mona Mur ...
Stammkundin Zoe Bar
...
...
Patient 1 (Psychiatrie)
...
Patient 2 (Psychiatrie)
Hermann Lause ...
Dr. Schiller
Karin Niwiger ...
Kassiererin (Psychiatrie)
Demir Gökgöl ...
Yunus Güner (Vater)
Cem Akin ...
Yilmaz Güner (Bruder)
Aysel Iscan ...
Birsen Güner (Mutter)
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Storyline

In 'Gegen die Wand' Cahit, a 40-something male from Mersin in Turkey has removed everything Turkish from his life. He has become an alcoholic drug addict and at the start of the movie wants to end it all. Sibel a 20-something female from Hamburg wishes to please her Turkish parents yet yearns for freedom. She has had her nose broken by her brother for being seen holding hands with a boy and yet she can not break her mother's heart and run away. She too attempts suicide and she first approaches Cahit there at the Hospital. Sibel asks Cahit to marry her, as she believes this to be the way out of her parent's house. She promises Cahit that their relationship will be like roommates, not like a married couple. The film follows Sibel and Cahit as they get married, become closer and eventually fall in love. Written by Serena P.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic sexuality, pervasive language, some brutal violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

11 March 2004 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Head-On  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Fatih Akin's brother Cem plays the part of Sibel's brother. See more »

Goofs

The psychiatrist at the beginning of the film tells Cahit about a song by the band The The containing the line "If you can't change the world, change your world". The actual quote (from the song "Lonely Planet", included in the album "Dusk") is "If you can't change the world, change yourself". See more »

Quotes

Cahit: Are you strong enough to stay between me and her?
Selma: Are you strong enough to destroy her life?
See more »

Crazy Credits

When it comes to Special Thanks, there's a name: Arsen Lüpen. Arsène Lupin is a fictional character, created by the French writer Maurice Leblanc. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Beim 1. Mal
(K: Frank Ziegert, 'Mark Chung', Axel Dill, FM Einheit (as F.M. Strauß); T: Frank Ziegert )
Performed by Abwärts
With kind permission from Independent Musikverlag
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bitter, Sad, Heavy, Unpleasant – But Also Original and Realistic Non-Hollywoodian Love Story
17 January 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In St. Pauli, Hamburg, the alcoholic, drugged and hopeless German with Turkish roots Cahit Tomruk (Birol Ünen) lives like a pig in a small dirty apartment and survives collecting empty bottles in the night-club "Der Fabrik". One night, he gives up living, and hits his car against a wall. However, he survives the crash and is sent to a clinic, where he meets Sibel Güner (Sibel Kekilli), a younger German Turk, with suicidal tendencies. Sibel is the younger daughter of a conservative Turkish family, and proposes a fake marriage to Cahit, in order to permit her to leave her family; in return, she would share the rent of the flat, and she would cook and clean the place, and they could have independent lives. Cahit accepts, but while living with Sibel, he falls in love for her, until a tragedy happens.

I saw "Gegen die Wand" yesterday and I am still very impressive with this powerful German movie. It is bitter, sad, heavy, unpleasant – but also an original and very realistic non-Hollywoodian love story. The location in St. Pauli, close to the famous Reeperban Street, could not be more perfect as the environment for such depressive story of losers. The precise direction of Faith Akin (obs: IMDb dictionary does not allow to write correctly the name of the director) is stunning, and the performance of Birol Ünen and Sibel Kekilli are outstanding and deserved nominations to the Oscar. When the character Sibel reaches the bottom of the well in Istanbul, Sibel Kekilli shines with a mesmerizing performance. Unfortunately we will never see Hollywood shooting this type of story, which is recommended for very special audiences. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Contra a Parede" ("Against the Wall")


54 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
one the greatest movies I have ever seen in my life! orih77
Turkey starts being a part of Europe starting tomorrow ? bittermilk
I think it could have ended after his crash... tomycs
Meeting Cahit in the bus station tim_aylett
Why does Cahit speak English to Selma? paul-mayer
'Head-on' ??? rentriki
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