Film Highlight: The Edge of Heaven


St. Anthony Main, Friday at 5 p.m.

Fatih Akin's masterful 2007 film about family and love connects Germany and Turkey through the stories of three families whose fates become fatally intertwined. Septuagenarian Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz) trolls through Bremen seeking prostitutes and one day meets Yeter (Nursel Kose). He invites her to move in with him so long as he can match her fees and she agrees. Nejat (Baki Davrak) is Ali's quiet professor son who strikes up a friendship with Yeter and learns of the daughter, Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcav), back in Turkey whose studies she supports. After a tragic accident, Nejat travels to Turkey to find Yeter's family. It turns out, however, that at the same time Ayten, a political activist on the run from the Turkish police, has fled to Germany, where she seeks Yeter and meets the earnest university student Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska). The two women fall in love despite the disapproval of Lotte's mother, Susanne (Hanna Schygulla). When Ayten's bid for political asylum fails, she is deported to Turkey and Lotte follows. Lotte's path crosses with Nejat, who has decided to stay in Istanbul and run a German bookstore. It's a complicated weaving of events, characters, and motivations, but Akin keeps the story clear, examining each individual's motivations and dwelling on the near misses and synchronicities of life. The film has been honored with several awards, deservedly so. It's an achingly beautiful tale about the love between parents, friends, and lovers that transcends culture, politics, and age.