FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Auf der Anderen Seite|The Edge of Heaven

Borderless realm of love, loss, and reconciliation
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 19, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
The_Edge_of_Heaven4_inside
Patrycja Ziólkowska and Nurgül Yesilçay

Maybe opening this year’s Boston Turkish Film Festival with a movie by Fatih Akin is the festival’s way of calling attention to Turkey’s hopes of joining the European Union. But the German-born director has always expressed ambivalence about his divided heritage, and this film is no exception, as the border between one country and culture and another blurs before snapping back into an uncrossable frontier. Such blurring distinguishes Akin’s narrative structure as well — it’s a better-than-usual version of the current popular multiple-story-line format. Leaving little to suspense, he titles the film’s first two chapters “Yeter’s Death” and “Lotte’s Death.”

How Yeter (Nursel Köse) and Lotte (Patrycja Ziólkowska) die, however, is not so predictable. The 50ish, Turkish-born Yeter earns her keep in Bremen’s red-light district until fundamentalist thugs demand she “repent.” Rather than comply, she takes up an offer from Ali (Tunçel Kurtiz), a Turkish widower, whose professor son Nejat (Baki Davrak) grudgingly approves. After Yeter’s demise, Nejat heads to Turkey to find her estranged daughter, Ayten (Nurgül Yesilçay). Lotte, meanwhile, bumps into Ayten — who’s penniless and in flight from Turkish authorities for her radical political activities — in Bremen, on the university campus. Lotte’s mother (Hanna Schygulla, old and stout but still æthereal) grudgingly approves. Not so much the authorities. Lotte ends up in Istanbul in search of something elusive and fatal.

The final chapter, “The Edge of Heaven” (the actual translation of the film’s German title, “On the Other Side,” is more evocative), reorients the overlapping chronologies and underlines how they brush up against each other. Although some of the stretched coincidences and “ironic” missed chances might have made Kieslowski wince, Akin doesn’t succumb to Babel-like patness. (One scene involving children and a firearm seems almost a direct allusion to Iñárritu’s glib diatribe.) Instead of clinging to safe platitudes, his stories venture into the borderless realm of love, loss, and reconciliation. German + Turkish + English | 122 minutes | MFA: March 27

Related: Crossing over, Akin talks Turkey, Music and macho, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, Fatih Akin,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY PETER KEOUGH
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BUFFET DINING: THE 15TH BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 19, 2013
    "Copraphagy" is a key word at this year's Boston Underground Film Festival at the Brattle.
  •   REVIEW: GINGER & ROSA  |  March 19, 2013
    Sally Potter likes to mess around with form and narrative.
  •   UNDERGROUND CINEMA: THE 12TH BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL  |  March 12, 2013
    This year's Boston Turkish Film Festival includes works in which directors ponder the relationships between the secular and the religious, between men and women, and between destiny and identity.
  •   REVIEW: A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III  |  March 12, 2013
    In Roman Coppola's sophomoric second feature (his 2001 debut CQ was promising), Charlie Sheen shows restraint as the titular asshole, a dissolute ad designer and solipsistic whiner who's mooning over the loss of his latest love.
  •   REVIEW: UPSIDE DOWN  |  March 14, 2013
    Had Ed Wood Jr. directed Fritz Lang's Metropolis , he couldn't have achieved the earnest dopiness of Juan Solanas's sci-fi allegory — nor the striking images.

 See all articles by: PETER KEOUGH