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The Edge of Heaven (2007)

Auf der anderen Seite (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 27 September 2007 (Germany)
1:34 | Trailer

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


Fatih Akin


Fatih Akin
34 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Baki Davrak ... Nejat / Ali's son
Nurgül Yesilçay ... Ayten / Yeter's daughter
Tuncel Kurtiz ... Ali / Nejat's father
Nursel Köse ... Yeter / Ayten's mother-Prostitute
Patrycia Ziolkowska Patrycia Ziolkowska ... Lotte / Ayten's lesbian friend
Hanna Schygulla ... Susanne / Lotte's mother
Idil Üner Idil Üner ... Ärztin / doctor
Erkan Can ... Ufuk / Nejat's cousin
Turgay Tanülkü Turgay Tanülkü ... Cem
Elcim Eroglu Elcim Eroglu ... Elcim
Nurten Güner Nurten Güner ... Nurten
Asuman Altinay Asuman Altinay ... Türkan
Gökhan Kiraç Gökhan Kiraç ... Junger Polizeibeamter / Younger police officer
Nejat Isler ... Kommissar / inspector
Lars Rudolph Lars Rudolph ... Markus / Buchhandlung Inhaber / bookstore owner


Nejat seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's choice of prostitute Yeter for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten. Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte, who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne. When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey,where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten. Written by omayra73@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Germany | Turkey | Italy


German | Turkish | English

Release Date:

27 September 2007 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Edge of Heaven See more »

Filming Locations:

Bremen, Germany See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,593, 25 May 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$741,283, 12 October 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shot in 44 days. See more »


In the film, the year is 2006 and it is the Festival of Sacrifices (Kurban Bayrami), a religious holiday. Everybody is in summer clothes and many of them are sweating. The Festival of Sacrifices in 2006 in Turkey was in winter, at the end of December. See more »


story: After telling the story of Abraham that was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismael, to show God his obedience. Before Abraham could slay his son God sent a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Nejat Aksu: I asked my dad if he would have sacrificed me as well.
Susanne Staub: And what did he say?
Nejat Aksu: That he would even make an enemy of God to protect me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the credits start to roll, there's a dedication to producer and actor Andreas Thiel, who died in Istanbul shortly before filming was finished. See more »


Featured in Fatih Akin - Tagebuch eines Filmreisenden (2007) See more »


Safak Türküsü
Music by Ahmet Kaya and lyrics by Nevzat Çelik
Performed by Ahmet Kaya
See more »

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User Reviews

Akin has formulated a smart and challenging contemporary thriller out of raw, delicate beginnings in what is one of the better foreign language films of the last few years.
14 July 2011 | by johnnyboyzSee all my reviews

The Edge of Heaven is a rich, deeply engrossing character study combining the scope of something like Altman's Short Cuts with the sociopolitical punch of a film like Sarah Gavron's Brick Lane; the cherry on top being that it comes at you with the cut-and-thrust thriller mentality of something like Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton. Faith Akin's film is at once a gripping, unpredictable piece; a homodiegeticaly imbued joint venture between the Germans and the Turkish, arriving with a studious eye on what constitutes as involving filmmaking that goes on to cover a handful of people making, or having already made, great leaps two and from these respective nations. Akin's multi-stranded piece is a taut, gleeful film observing an array of differing people of varying genders at separate points in their respective lives, all of whom come to interact and dislodge with one another's existences out of a common thematic of ill-induced power exchanges.

We begin with that of Nejat (Davrak), a character of whom, at the initial point of first observation, is far and away down the winding strand he'll eventually come to end up on. He walks through a petrol station somewhere on the coast of the Black Sea, the speaking over some internal music with an employee revealing Nejat's decidedly unfamiliar rapport with the place when he is told of a famous local musician's recent death. The flashback, one of many shifts in time the film will administer, reveals the man to be travelling by train, rather by than that of the transport we first observed him use, to the German city of Breman to visit his father Ali (Kurtiz). The flashback reveals Nejat's ability to read and speak English, a foreign language to him, and that he is a lecturer; he self-identifies himself as a "gentleman" and is in binary opposition of sorts to that of his father.

Ali is a single man who likes to gamble, during which he specifically enjoys backing those of whose chances of winning appear fruitless. The man shares a steady affinity with that of Yeter (Köse), a woman that catches Ali's attention out of his desire for a domestic based female presence, a presence that arrives squarely with that of Yeter whose Turkish origins and whose certain qualities, as a prostitute, more than tick the right boxes. Where Nejat and Ali appear to put up with one another, neither party necessarily seeing any more of the other for periods longer than would appear tolerable, Akin weaves a fascinating little tale out of Ali and Yeter's eventual realisation that one's personal relationship does not equate to the equivalent of that of their professional one. Upon garnering her permanent presence at his home, paid for out of his own pension, Akin allows the bubbles of carbonated gas evident in a glass of freshly poured soda to dominate the soundtrack as Nejat and off-chance-lover-turned-new-found-partner Yeter are forced into becoming acquainted during a meal time.

Where the majority of those of a Turkish disposition are sleazy, lecherous, drunkard and somewhat unpleasant; and those of a German ilk, or of a German born variety, are intelligent, informed and articulate, Akin constructs his second prominent strand subverting such things. Predominantly, the second story covers that of Ayten (Yesilçay), Yeter's daughter, and her relationship to that of a German girl Charlotte (Ziolkowska). Ayten is a free thinking female in the hotbed of political strife that is Turkey, strife which comes about when such characteristics rear themselves within such people. Illegally fleeing to Germany after storing a policeman's gun that she found in the street in an obscure hiding place, she comes under the tutorship of not only university student Charlotte, but also her mischievous ways of drinking; smoking and the frequenting of nightspots – items which have an ill influence on this empowered and activist-inspired-amidst-repression Turk.

The film is bookended by this overhanging idea of power and control influencing for the bad, the conditions under which Ayten lived in Turkey coming across as regimental and false; the idea that Charlotte's mother Susanne (Schygulla), who is later granted a story of her own in the fallout of a tragedy, is too lenient and cannot implement the necessary authority to steer her daughter in the right direction, is additionally prominent. A snapshot from one of Nejat's lectures reveals talk of the dangers of such dramatic shifts in power or political influence, whereas Akin includes an instance in the film during which portraits of varying dictators hang periodically on walls, all the while accompanied by very little else so as to extenuate their presence, as the camera shifts to encompass one of them before lingering for a few seconds. Aside from this, and everything else that makes it work, the film is a wondrous example of stripped down filmmaking made with the sort of confidence and aplomb that opens your eyes to new worlds and delivers the various issues and dilemmas featured in a brash, involving fashion - to say that it works fantastically is somewhat understating it.

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