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Head-On (2004)

Gegen die Wand (original title)
With the intention to break free from the strict familial restrictions, a suicidal young woman sets up a marriage of convenience with a forty-year-old addict, an act that will lead to an outburst of envious love.




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25 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


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


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


Raw, Powerful, Extraordinary... A Love Story of Surprisingly Epic Proportions! See more »


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:



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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scene where Cahit is smashing glasses with his bare hands was done using chemicals: Birol Ünel's hands were covered in a substance that would turn red when reacting to the liquid in the (plastic) glasses. See more »


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 »


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 »


Referenced in Entourage: Talk Show (2004) See more »


Life's What You Make It
( K/T: Mark Hollis (as Mark David Hollis), Tim Friese-Greene )
Performed by Zinoba
With kind permission from (C) Hollis Songs Ltd., Zoma Music Publishers Ltd. and Universal Music Publishing Germany,
BMG Music Publishing/Musik-Edition Discoton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most SINCERE movies I ever seen.
14 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

As I mentioned in the subject if you ask me to describe this movie only in one word, this word would be SINCERITY, or may be HONESTY.

Turkish people as a conservative society mostly do not get used to approaches towards Turkish culture in this movie by Fatih Akin. He successfully describes the boundaries formed around Sibel originated by her culture in an opposite-culture dominated country Germany. Fatih Akin has a free approach towards the life of Sibel surrounded by the WALLs built by her Turkish origin.

I believe the reason of the free & brave approach in Fatih Akin lies in his free social and cinematographical development as a later generation Turk at Germany. In Turkey, we have no chance to get that approach he has, from our local directors because of legal, social and market dominated factors in local Turkish cinema.

Besides movie tells a love story happened in an environment between, behind, among and surrounded by the WALLs. Sibel marries with an alienated looser man Cahit to break down the WALLs. But she forgot to plan about love. Love damages both of their lives in an unfortunate realistic way.

As a result, Gegen die Wand - Head-on - Duvara Karþý is a must see SINCERE movie by a Turkish director from German cinema.

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