Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Edge of Heaven

The Edge of Heaven
Tuncel Kurtiz, Nursel Kose, Baki Davrak, Nurgul Yesilcy, Patrycia Ziolkowska, Hanna Schygulla

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 21, 2008 Released by: Strand Releasing

The Edge of Heaven (in German/Turkish/English, with English subtitles) is a measured, poignant drama, a conduit into cultural disparity.

The storytelling branches out in a surprisingly magnetic way from title cards forecasting the mortality of two characters.

Director-writer Fatih Akin has quite a touch with his six primary characters, as their lives are intimately woven with eminence and a certain urgency.

One is captivated from the outset as Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz) is a lonely Turkish man who is able to get a Turkish whore (Nursel Kose) to stay with him. Nearby is Ali's professor son Nejat (Baki Davrak) who'll go to Istanbul to look for Yeter's estranged daughter Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay) and then find residence there.

The journey is broadened as Ayten has left Turkey, searching in Bremen for her mother. She connects with the intelligent Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska), trailing her to Istanbul before being deported. And, Lotte's mother, Susanne (Hanna Schygulla), also heads to Istanbul to investigate an unexpected turn of events.

Akin allows his actors to run a gamut of emotions and understand opportunities to communicate that hardly can be facillitated. The holistic nature of Turkish and German culture is tellingly represented, and it's amazing how close the characters are to one another without their realizing in the parallel and overlapping approach.

The Edge of Heaven hitches onto ordinary life with its joys and tragedies with a cinematic viscosity and atmosphere in an unsentimental manner. Like Paul Haggis's acclaimed Crash it is cognizant of our tolerance and shared humanity, doing so in a haunting, wrenching, and graceful association patiently and properly played out.

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