Saturday, May 5, 2007

Gotta Have Faith

Cannes is coming, Cannes is coming. So as part of the lead up to Cannes, I’ll try to give an overview of films from our seven Sister City Countries, starting with ...

Edge of Heaven (Auf der Anderen Seite), Director Faith Akin
Info on some of the Cannes films is limited, so I lifted this from Above is a picture of Akin receiving the Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlinale for his film Head On. There’s also a “Making of Auf der Anderen Seite” video, if your German is good enough. Otherwise, it’s interesting visuals (apparently Akin is a big foosball fan, I mean, who’s not?).

“Linked through encounters, relationships and even death, the fragile lives of six people connect on emotional voyages toward forgiveness and reconciliation in Germany and Turkey ... Nejat (Baki DAVRAK) seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's (Tuncel KURTIZ) choice of prostitute Yeter (Nursel KSE) for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten (Nurgl YESILCAY). Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte (Patrycia ZIOLKOWSKA), who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne (Hanna SCHYGULLA). When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey, where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten.”

Director Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg and began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg's College of Fine Arts in 1994. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, Sensin - You're The One! (Sensin - Du bist es!), which received the Audience Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival, followed by Weed (Getuerkt, 1996). His first full length feature film, Short Sharp Shock (Kurz und schmerzlos, 1998), won the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bavarian Film Award (Best Young Director) in 1998. His other films include: In July (Im Juli, 2000), Wir haben vergessen zurueckzukehren (2001), Solino (2002), the Berlinale Golden Bear-winner and winner of the German and European Film Awards Head-On (Gegen die Wand, 2003), Crossing the Bridge - The Sound of Istanbul (2005), and The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite, 2007).