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Edge of Heaven

4.3 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fatih Akin, the critically-acclaimed director of HEAD-ON, weaves overlapping tales of friendship and sexuality into a powerful narrative of universal love. Six characters are drawn together by circumstances-an old man and a prostitute forging a partnership, a young scholar reconciling his past, two young women falling in love, and a mother putting the shattered pieces of her life back together. Akin's piercing sense of the human condition and contemporary world events charge these hyperlinked stories into a multi-cultural powder keg.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Nurgul Yesilcay, Baki Davrak, Tuncel Kurtiz, Hanna Schygulla, Patrycia Ziolkowska
  • Directors: Fatih Akin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DB6J82
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,106 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Edge of Heaven" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Instead of a clunky description of the story, here are two examples of masterful filmmaking from this amazing film.

Example #1: The iconic German actress Hanna Schygulla plays the aged mother of one of the main characters. Her daughter, a German university student with an idealistic streak, brings a Turkish woman whom she has just met, to stay in their house. The daughter wants to help the Turkish woman, who is homeless and an illegal immigrant. The mother seems to project quiet disapproval and warns the daughter about harboring an illegal alien. In this manner, the film makes the viewer think he or she is seeing a contrast between the staid mother and the bohemian rebellious daughter.

Later, however, the film reveals that this staid mother is not who the viewer has come to think she is. In her youth, she was also a free spirit and a bit of a bohemian who hitchhiked to India. She shows herself to be someone so different than who she seemed to be.

Thus, the viewer's very perception is challenged and this character is revealed to be complex and truly human and not the "type" that the viewer has pegged her to be. In other words, the film challenges and undermines the viewers' perception to provide true insight.

Example #2: The opening scene of the film is of a car driving into a gas station in rural Turkey. A man gets out of the car, asks the gas station attendant to fill it up, then goes inside to the little convenience store, where he buys some snacks and exchanges small talk with the shopkeeper about a song that is playing on the radio. The shopkeeper says the singer is from the region but died of cancer due to fallout from Chernobyl that's only revealing itself to the public now. The man pays for his stuff and the scene ends. It's a two-minute scene.
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Format: DVD
The emotional impact of this bleak cinema will not need enhancement, and the "story" is intentionally predictable from about minute 15 to the end. What I want to address is the "intellectual" content, since I think this is a film with fairly explicit intellectual aspirations -- in other words, a movie that makes a statement about life.

Coincidental relationships and chance encounters frame nearly every action/event of this film. Nothing that happens is inevitable or dramatically "necessary", yet everything is contingent on random intersections of people and places that another film-maker might perceive as fateful or predestined. Yet equally possible coincidences and indeed encounters that "we" are set up to expect don't occur as expected. Coincidence is no more powerful than non-coincidence; contingency is awkwardly random in the film-maker's vision of life, and resolution is utterly illusory. Perhaps only a Turk, or another person raised in a culture of religious predeterminism, could offer such insights into the linear inconsequentiality of existence -- "just one d_mn thing after another."

The Edge of Heaven is also a painful depiction of alienation -- the alienation of 'guestworker" Turks in Germany, of political dissidence, and of generational conflict, a father-son and a mother-daughter, the former Turks and the latter Germans. This isn't the core of the movie so much as the substrate in which the character development takes place.

Wonderful acting! Especially from Hanna Schygulla, who plays the German mother so plausibly that you will hardly remember her as the star of German "art" films of yesteryear. Any time an actor/actress is unrecognizable, that's art!
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5 Comments 35 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE) is a superb piece of writing by writer/director Fatih Akin - a study essentially about family fragility and strength as heightened by the immigrant struggles that both bond and divide. It is an intelligent film, well acted, and presented in a challenging manner that defines it as an art film of the first order.

We are given three families to inspect, families whose paths cross not only by coincidence by also by a common 'border' between Germany and Turkey - a division that provides not only tension and emphasis in separation and communication flaws in relationships, but also allows the sensitive cinematographer the opportunity to contrast the dark German portions with the hot light of the Turkish segments.

The film opens innocently enough with a scene where young professor Nejat (Baki Davrak), a Turkish immigrant teaching in Germany, stops for gas - an ordinary event in life that will be recapitulated at movie's close. Nejat's elderly father Ali Aksu (Yuncel Kurtiz) wanders the red light district and encounters a Turkish immigrant hooker Yeter (Nusel Kose) whom he invites to come live with him for the same money that she would make in prostitution. The home setting (Nejat, Ali, Yeter) is flawed and at the moment of dissolution Yeter dies accidentally during an altercation with Ali. Ali is jailed and Nejat feels compelled to go to Istanbul to find and assist Yeter's daughter. Meanwhile Yeter's daughter Ayten (Nurgut Yesilcay) is participating in anti government demonstrations and manages to flee to Germany to find her mother and is befriended by Lotte (Patrycia Ziokowska), a student whose mother Susanne (Hanna Schygulla) disapproves of Lotte's relationship with Ayten.
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4 Comments 30 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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