Head-On, or Gegen Die Wand (in German, in original), is the most praised movie by the German of Turkish origin director, Fatih Akın. This is also the most awarded of his movies. It won The Golden Bear in 2004 Berlinale, he, Akın, won Fipresci Prize, at the same festival, “Best Director”, “Best Film” at European Film Awards, and many more.
This is a Turkish drama, even if it takes place in Germany, the most important country of Turkish Diaspora. The descendants of Asian conquerors, are today European emigrants. The thing is that they keep their habits even abroad. Turkish are the most “liberal” of Muslims, they are quite sinners near the faith keepers from Saudi Arabia or Iran, to name both most important branches, the Sunnis and the Shias.
A guy, a junkie, a bum, went to hospital because he smashed his car on a wall. He was high, we don’t know the reasons he did that. At the hospital, a young girl proposed him to marry. That’s unusual in Turkey, but not very strange giving the circumstances here, you’ll see why. The main reason is that they both were Turks, and the girl wanted to please her family by marrying one of the same roots and faith. It started as a convenient arrangement. She wouldn’t mind to live with the guy for real, he had something strange and special, but the things were really complicated with him. It is supposed that he became an alcoholic and a junkie for a reason. I think that he had it in him anyway, he needed only a justification. You will discover that he was also a good and somehow, morally decent guy.
It is a twisted love story, and it’s very emotional and violent. It seems unjustified, but you’ll see that’s not so. I’m not going to reveal more, as you know already, and I strongly recommend you to make something to watch the movie, because it’s not like others.
It is a 2004 German release, with the characters speaking in German and Turkish, filmed in Hamburg and Istanbul, also with a mixed distribution, part of the actors being very close to Fatih Akın.
So, the most known and important here are: Birol Ünel, as “Cahit”, the junkie, Sibel Kekilli as “Sibel”, the Turkish girl, Güven Kiraç as “Şeref”, Cahit’s friend, Catrin Striebeck (whom you can recognize from Soul Kitchen) as “Maren”, Cahit’s sometimes intimate partner, Demir Gökgöl (from Soul Kitchen too) as Sibel’s father, Cem Akin as Sibel’s brother, Meltem Cumbul, as Selma from Istanbul, Sibel’s cousin, Adam Bousdoukos (the main character in Soul Kitchen)as a barman, and Mehmet Kurtuluş (another Akın’s friend, from Im Juli and Kurz und Schmerzlos, movies I’m gonna review here soon) as another barman, in Istanbul this time.
The movie has been written, directed, and produced by Fatih Akın. Mehmet Kurtuluş was another member in the production team. 121 minutes, 8.0 out of ten imdb rate, one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure that you’ll be impressed as well. Highly recommended.
You have the trailer above, because it’s not too revealing, only inciting. I’m sure this movie will leave a very strong trace in your heart.
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