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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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 ...
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

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:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

11 March 2004 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Head-On  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Fatih Akin auditioned over 350 actresses for the role of Sibel. 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

Dr. Schiller: If you want to end your life, end it. You don't have to kill yourself to do that.
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 Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Temple of Love
( K/T: Andrew Eldritch )
Performed by The Sisters of Mercy (as Sisters of Mercy)
Touched by the hand of Ofra Haza
With kind permission from (C) Eldritch Boulevard Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Germany,
(P) 1983 Warner Music UK, Warner Strategic Marketing
a division of Warner Music Group Germany
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
rock and roll, death and love
17 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

What a thrilling ride and what a powerful one. Lead actor looks like a brutish mixture of Jagger as Ned Kelly, Morrison, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave ,and acts like a monster. Two desperate people meet each with little to lose. The chaotic, rootless life they share brings them closer as they start to realize they have only each other. You can't take your eyes off male lead Birol Unel who drinks with utter abandon. This guy has turned a passion for living into a passion for dying. The suicidal Sibel who he meets is also charming in her willingness to push every boundary in search of a life she can live that makes sense to her. She is hemmed in by traditional Turkish mores and we are shown how wives end up in that culture--honored in gesture, completely devalued in practice.

Unel in his moody majestic splendor is reminiscent of the great Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, Wrath of God. We watch him cop out over and over from facing anything like commitment to life or people. But his relationship with Sibel, born in nihilism and total scorn for convention, prods to life whatever remaining feelings he still possesses.

What I love about this film is that it has real solid characters who are people that you care a lot about; it has education about the Turkish community in Germany and by implication about Muslims in Europe; it always shows and does not tell; it has wit and provocation and is multidimensional and makes you realize there are some things worth fighting for.

My friend commented after seeing it that a quick comparison of this film with most Hollywood product shows just what pap we are accepting from LA. Yay for rage, guts, blood, love and meaning. Thanks to the creators for a film that ranks with Last Tango in its rawness and power.


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