8.0/10
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87 user 125 critic

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.

Director:

Fatih Akin

Writer:

Fatih Akin (book)

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25 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Germany]

Country:

Germany | Turkey

Language:

German | Turkish | English

Release Date:

11 March 2004 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Head-On See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. 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: Punk is not dead!
Sibel: Punk is not dead!
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

Referenced in Gegen die Wand: Making of (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I Feel You
( K/T: Martin Gore )
Performed by Depeche Mode
With kind permission from EMI Music Publishing Ltd., Grabbing Hands Overseas Ltd., EMI Music Publishing Germany and Sire Record Company/Warner Bros. Records,
Mute Records
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bitter, Sad, Heavy, Unpleasant – But Also Original and Realistic Non-Hollywoodian Love Story
17 January 2006 | by Claudio CarvalhoSee 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")


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