The Edge of Heaven Faith Akin

The Edge of Heaven Faith Akin
As a slightly morbid investigation of East-West culture clashes and the reconnection and adaptation of human relationships that surround loss and disappointment, The Edge of Heaven succeeds in its aims. The character connections avoid embellishment and contrivances but their archetypal dependency on political belief systems occasionally lead to contradiction. This is especially evident when female persecution comes from the hands of singular and sociologically superior men whose own catharsis and rekindling act as the fulcrum of the film, and are ultimately the result of female suffering. It all fits into Turkish political discontent and more colonial German ideologies but given the amount of time spent on developing and exploring these victims of clashing worldviews it comes off as emotionally incongruent. The multi-narrative follows three interweaving stories of lust, connection, loyalty, loss and suffering. The first one centres on Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), an aged pensioner who buys the live-in companionship of Turkish whore Yeter (Nursel Kose), who is initially hesitant of the offer until she learns that his son Nejat (Baki Devrak) is a university professor in Germany. Attending this university is Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska), an idealistic and sexually curious liberal who invites Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay), a Turkish political radical on the run from the authorities, into her home. These two stories lead to the third, which involves Lotte’s mother Susanne (Hanna Schygulla) going to Turkey to help Ayten in a time of need. While the stories are deliberately structured and ultimately contrived, Akin’s thoughtful and lingering direction, which allows the actors to truly inhabit and explore their characters, keeps artificiality at bay. The DVD release includes an hour-long "Making of” featurette that explores the struggles Fatih Akin had in following up his previous success, the award winning Head On. It goes on to cover much of The Edge of Heaven’s production and the problems that stem from shooting a cross-cultural film. While interesting and well assembled, the running time will likely test audience patience. (Mongrel Media)