84 user 122 critic

Head-On (2004)

Gegen die Wand (original title)
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 »




Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

25 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Turkish man travels to Istanbul to find the daughter of his father's former girlfriend.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Baki Davrak, Gürsoy Gemec, Cengiz Daner
Soul Kitchen (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Pheline Roggan
In July (2000)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Can Daniel follow the sun from Hamburg to the Bosporus by Friday to meet his love?

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christiane Paul, Mehmet Kurtulus
Solino (2002)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the sixties Romano Amato, his wife Rosa and their two sons Giancarlo and Gigi emigrate from Solino in Italy to Duisburg in the Ruhr area and establish the first Pizza restaurant in town.... See full summary »

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Barnaby Metschurat, Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Tasche
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Award-winning director Fatih Akin takes us on a journey through Istanbul, the city that bridges Europe and Asia, and challenges familiar notions of east and west. He looks at the vibrant ... See full summary »

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Alexander Hacke, Ahmed Ulug, Cem Yegul
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three friends get caught in a life of major crime.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Mehmet Kurtulus, Adam Bousdoukos, Aleksandar Jovanovic
Innocence (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Yusuf is released from prison after serving a ten-year sentence. He is scared of life outside as he goes to an address given to him by another prisoner.

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Güven Kiraç, Haluk Bilginer, Derya Alabora
The Cut I (2014)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In 1915 a man survives the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, but loses his family, speech and faith. One night he learns that his twin daughters may be alive, and goes on a quest to find them.

Director: Fatih Akin
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Simon Abkarian, Makram Khoury
On Board (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The sailors who were duped by woman sellers, want to steal their capitals to retaliate from them. There are four men and one woman in a ruined boat. Four lazy and dissatisfaction sailors. ... See full summary »

Director: Serdar Akar
Stars: Erkan Can, Haldun Boysan, Yildiray Sahinler
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1990, to protect his fragile mother from a fatal shock after a long coma, a young man must keep her from learning that her beloved nation of East Germany as she knew it has disappeared.

Director: Wolfgang Becker
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Katrin Saß, Chulpan Khamatova
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A promotion brings a Muslim's relationship with God into question.

Director: Özer Kiziltan
Stars: Erkan Can, Meray Ülgen, Güven Kiraç
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel


Cast overview, first billed only:
Zarah Jane McKenzie ...
Barfrau in der Fabrik (as Zarah McKenzie)
Stefan Gebelhoff ...
Catrin Striebeck ...
Francesco Fiannaca ...
Mona Mur ...
Patient 1 (Psychiatrie)
Patient 2 (Psychiatrie)
Hermann Lause ...
Karin Niwiger ...
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


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:




| |

Release Date:

11 March 2004 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Head-On  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sibel Kekilli, who has a very distinctive nose in the film, spent the money she earned from "Head-On" getting a nose job. 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 »


Sibel: Cahit! I'm getting laid!
Cahit: [looking at Sibel and then the guy]
Sibel: Did you see the guy?
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 »


Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »


Ho Ho
( K/T: Rowland S. Howard (as Roland Howard), Genevieve McGuckin )
Performed by The Birthday Party
With kind permission from Mute Songs Ltd. and The Birthday Party Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Finally a good European movie
30 December 2005 | by (Bucharest, Romania) – See all my reviews

I expected a typical immigrant drama from this one, but fortunately, the movie proved out to be a lot more than that. Gegen die Wand is the story of a man who loses faith in everything (love, God, nationality, and ultimately life itself), only to regain it in unusual circumstances. If that sounds cheesy, well, it is anything but.

The movie always feels real, never descending into patheticism, and the 2 lead actors portray attractive, interesting characters that totally transcend immigrant archetypes.

Faith Akin was worthy of the best European movie award he got here, as the film succeeds on all levels: immigrant drama, love story, and meditation on different ethical principles.

46 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Turkey starts being a part of Europe starting tomorrow ? bittermilk
one the greatest movies I have ever seen in my life! orih77
'Head-on' ??? rentriki
I think it could have ended after his crash... tomycs
Why does Cahit speak English to Selma? paul-mayer
Why English? jolieryoko
Discuss Head-On (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: