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Head-On (2004) Poster

(2004)

Trivia

All scenes have been filmed on location and nearly only with available light.
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Birol Ünel had not been in military service in Turkey and therefore could not travel to Turkey without being arrested. However, as they say on DVD, at the last minute Turkish parliament decided on an amnesty, so he could return to his home country for the first time after 10 years and finish the movie.
Sibel Kekilli, who has a very distinctive nose in the film, spent the money she earned from "Head-On" getting a nose job.
The first German film in 17 years to win the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Director Fatih Akin auditioned over 350 actresses for the role of Sibel.
In the opening scenes, where Cahit appears to be completely drunk, Birol Ünel isn't acting. He really was completely drunk, having been drinking solidly whilst waiting hours for the scene to be set up.
The actresses playing the three wives on the sofa Sibel is talking to had all been considered for the role of Sibel.
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During filming, Birol Ünel was told by his doctor that he had to quit drinking alcohol, otherwise he could die. This accounts for Ünel's weight loss in the latter part of the film, though giving up the booze made him so ill at one point that filming had to be suspended.
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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.
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Most of the actors are wearing their own clothes. This was partly to help them inhabit their characters more naturally, but mainly to save money.
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As the film started to pick up awards at international film festivals, leading actress Sibel Kekilli was "outed" by the German tabloid press for being a former porn star. Kekilli responded to this by reproaching the tabloids for "media rape" at the 2004 Bambi Awards, during her acceptance speech.
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The film's first cut ran to 4 hours.
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Director Fatih Akin's brother Cem plays the part of Sibel's brother.
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In Istanbul, Cahit is staying at "Grand Hotel de Londres", which is also featured in Akin's movie The Edge of Heaven (2007).
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Sibel Kekilli was discovered at a Cologne shopping mall.
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The black cat that is running from left to right in one of the Istanbul scenes had not been casted. It just happened to be there, adding symbolism of its own account.
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The taxi drivers in Istanbul were originally cast the other way round: The "Bavarian" was supposed to pick up Sibel, and the other one to fetch Cahit from the airport.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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