Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

The Edge of Heaven 2007

Directed by Fatih Akin

Turkish-German director Fatih Akin's (Head-On) masterful new film tracks the emotional arcs of six people – four Turks and two Germans – as they criss-cross through love, tragedy and borders.

Germany / Turkey In English, German and Turkish with English subtitles
122 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Rainer Klausmann


Andrew Bird




Baki Davrak
Tunçel Kurtiz
Nursel Köse
Nurgül Yesilçay
Hanna Schygulla
Patrycia Ziolkowska


Turkish-German director Fatih Akin’s (Head-On) masterful new film is a measured and contemplative drama in which the lives and emotional arcs of six people – four Turks and two Germans – criss-cross through love and tragedy. It starts in Germany with Turkish immigrant Ali, a crusty but charismatic septuagenarian who meets beautiful prostitute Yeter and asks her to move in with him. Ali’s son Nejat, a university professor, is quietly tolerant of his father’s patriarchal ways, but deeply affected by the fatal confrontation that ensues. Shifting to Turkey, the film then introduces Yeter’s 27-year-old political activist daughter Ayten and her German girlfriend. How Nejat and Ayten’s lives intersect is a matter of personal and political drama, unfolding with clarity and a profound sense of the fragility of human connections.

“The point at which a good director crosses the career bridge to become a substantial international talent is vividly clear in [Akin’s] utterly assured, profoundly moving fifth feature …[which] takes the German-born Turkish writer-director’s ongoing interest in two seemingly divergent cultures to a humanist level that’s way beyond the grungy romanticism of his 2003 Head-On or the dreamy dramedy of In July (2000). …The picture has a lean, almost procedural style, in which every scene and line of dialogue counts. Akin doesn’t try to hide the plot’s coincidences or Swiss watch-like precision, which is given human resonance by the flawless playing of the six leads. By the time the second segment segues into the final one, the helmer’s long-burn approach packs a considerable emotional wallop in a quiet, inclusive way.” — Derek Elley, Variety