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
The book Nejat gives to his father is a (at that point fictitious) Turkish translation of "Die Tochter des Schmieds" (The Blacksmith's Daughter) by Selim Özdogan. Selim Özdogan is a good friend of Fatih Akin. See more »
When Lotte is driving through Bremen, she passes a bus in which Yeter and Nejat were sitting after visiting Nejat's father in the hospital. The first time we see them sitting in the bus, they are sitting together in the same seat. When Lotte passes the bus, they are sitting opposite of each other. See more »
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.
I asked my dad if he would have sacrificed me as well.
And what did he say?
That he would even make an enemy of God to protect me.
See more »
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 »
With a small scale ensemble cast, The Edge of Heaven examines several themes through the lives of the many characters. Nejat Aksu (Baki Davrak) is a professor of literature in a German university and not happy about his father Ali's new live-in partner Yeter (Nursel Köse), a prostitute who Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz) has hired to stay with him. Yeter has an estranged daughter Ayten (Nurgül Yesilçay) who Nejat decides to track down in Turkey after a tragedy occurs in the family. However, unbeknownst to Yeter and Nejat, Ayten has already traveled to Germany to look for her mother and seek a refugee status as she is a member of a rebellious activist group in Turkey. In Germany she meets a female student Charlotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska) who offers her a place to stay and eventually follows her back to Turkey, much to her mother Susanne's (Hanna Schygulla) chagrin.
The two main story lines (those of Nejat / Yeter and Ayten / Charlotte) are presented after each other in a clear manner but the stories intertwine in many ways, often unnoticed by the characters, creating an extra feel of tragedy – the answer would be so close if only they knew each other! Besides the smaller instances of bad luck, the deaths of major characters are what end up driving the plot forwards, but in the end the message is hopeful; an understanding is what everybody is ultimately seeking.
Akin's calm direction and the good performances throughout easily raise The Edge of Heaven among the best Turkish films I've seen (even though I have only seen a handful). The themes of finding one's true calling in life, the forgiving nature of parent–child relationships and the subpar human rights situation in Turkey are all explored without haste, always maintaining the balance between the different aspects of the story. For anyone who hasn't seen many Turkish films, The Edge of Heaven could be a good starting place, but I imagine it is also worth seeing for those more familiar with the country's cinema.
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