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Edge Of Heaven, The (Auf Der Anderen Seite) (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/02/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 122 mins

Impressively directed, superbly written and brilliantly acted, this emotionally engaging drama confirms Fatih Akin as one of Europe's finest film-makers.

What's it all about?
Nejat (Baki Davrak) is a Turkish university professor who has settled in Bremen, near his lonely father, Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), who has hired a prostitute, Yeter (Nursel Kose), to live with him. When Yeter dies suddenly, Nejat travels to Istanbul to find Yeter's long-lost daughter, Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay).

However, Nejat is unaware that the politically active Ayten has already fled Istanbul and has come to Germany, where she's taken in by smitten university student Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska), much to the consternation of her mother, Susanna (Hanna Schygulla). When Ayten is deported back to Istanbul, Lotte follows her there, but she dies in a tragic accident, leading Susanna to come to Istanbul seeking information about her daughter's death.

The Good
On the surface, the plot may sound complicated, but it's really just two inter-locking stories of people searching for each other and making connections. What's interesting is that Akin isn't interested in shocking us with the two central deaths – they are foretold as chapter headings well in advance, so that you dread the moment when you have to leave these likeable characters.

Akin's direction is assured throughout, generating genuine affection for the characters and encouraging us to hope that they find each other, with the stories constantly overlapping in subtle and interesting ways. There are some extraordinarily powerful scenes here, whether they're offbeat romantic scenes (the two central relationships are both unusual but extremely affecting) or moments of tragedy and shock.

The Great
Akin also gets terrific performances from his superb cast, particularly from Patrycia Ziolkowska, who's terrific as Lotte. The script is excellent too, exerting a surprisingly strong grip and delivering a powerful emotional punch, without ever resorting to cheap sentimentality.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Edge of Heaven is a thoroughly engaging drama that confirms Fatih Akin as a talent to watch. Highly recommended.

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Edge Of Heaven, The (Auf Der Anderen Seite) (15)
Edge Of Heaven, The (Auf Der Anderen Seite) has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 17:29

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