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Edge of Heaven
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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.Read more ›
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!Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heartfelt and makes you think outside of the box. Amazing Director and storyline!Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Faith Arkin develops an absorbing film, building a dramatic chain of events that link six lives.
The movie centers around two cities Bremen and Istanbul, the crude... Read more
Fascinating story of lives of several Turkish and German people, and how they intersect. I found it difficult to watch at times but in the end I was glad I'd stuck with it; I found... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Promise
Video did not play and Amazon still charged $2.99!!! I could not figure out how to make a claim for cancellation.Published on May 8, 2014 by Gurkan Gokce
Having done a tour of duty in the Army in Turkey I found Istanbul extremely interesting. It was well acted and very moving. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by MS
An intelligent and realistic movie, the plot is believable and well developed. The acting is superb. I recommend this movie.Published on March 14, 2014 by Vernon Lefebre
Very rich and complex story touches so many issues. Most of them current time Turkish issues. German and Turkish relationships inside the parent and child relationships. Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Ismail Uzun
this film was well acted and quite moving. i would recommend this film to my friends would like foreign moviesPublished on February 12, 2014 by O. Thibodeaux