The Goethe Institute in collaboration with the South Asian Academy of Motion Picture arts and Television (SAAMPT) held a screening of the Turkish-German film, The Edge of Heaven (2007)
The film has been directed by Fatih Akin, a celebrated German-born Turkish filmmaker and actor whose previous work includes the acclaimed film Head-On (2004) and most recently, Soul Kitchen (2009).
The Edge of Heaven follows the lives of six characters, a Turkish immigrant father, Ali Aksu (played by Tuncel Kurtiz), who brings home a Turkish commercial sex worker, Yeter Ozturk (played by Nursel Kose) to live with them. In a fit of rage, Ali Aksu ends up accidentally murdering Yeter Ozturk and is sent to prison. His son, Nejat Aksu (played by Baki Davarak) who had grown fond of Yeter Ozturk sets out to find Yeter’s missing daughter, Ayten Ozturk (played by Nurgul Yesilcay) and travels to Istanbul to find her. He ends up buying a German bookstore and begins living in Istanbul.
As a young political activist, Ayten Ozturk, gets in trouble with the Turkish authorities and escapes illegally to Germany where she meets Charlotte ‘Lotte’ Staub (played by Patrycia Ziolkowska) who decides to help her. Ayten Ozturk is denied asylum in Germany, deported to Turkey where she is imprisoned. Lotte goes in search for her and ends up eventually being killed accidentally by a gun Ayten had hidden while she was running away from the Turkish authorities. Susanne Staub (played by Hana Schygulla), Lotte’s mother, eventually forgives Ayten for her daughter’s death.
Shot beautifully with a gripping storyline, The Edge of Heaven won the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 where it had its worldwide premiere.
This the first of a series of German film screenings Goethe Institute plans on doing in collaboration with SAAMPT. The dean of the film academy, Daniyal Ali Khan, mentioned that they intend to further their collaboration with a few more projects in the pipeline, all of which will be revealed in due time. As a dean of a film school, he also mentioned that in order for a student to become a filmmaker, he/she must spend most of their times watching a lot of films, from a variety of genres and places, first. This collaboration with the Goethe Institut could provide his students and those interested in watching these films, a much-needed exposure of German cinema.