The Edge of Heaven By Ray Bennett
Bottom Line: Intricate and moving drama about life's struggles and near misses.
May 24, 2007
Akin's tale is about two families whose fate becomes entwined.
CANNES -- Director Fatih Akin continues his insightful exploration of the things that divide and bridge different cultures and generations in his absorbing In Competition film "The Edge of Heaven." Like his 2004 Berlin Golden Bear winner "Head-On," the film deals with Turkish folk living in Germany but this time he brings his story back to Istanbul. Love was his topic in the earlier film, and now Akin turns his attention to death. It may not be a wise thing to label the major chapters announcing the deaths of key characters, but he tells their stories with flair and compassion. Audiences that responded to "Head-On" will be pleased with "Heaven," and festival and art house prospects look good.The director, who also wrote the script, achieves a keen-eyed view of the Turkish expatriates in this film while sustaining his remarkable ability to make them universal. His tale is about two families whose fate becomes entwined in ways they don't discover within the time frame of the film.It starts in Germany with Turkish immigrant Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), a crusty retired widower whose son Nejat (Baki Davrak) is a successful academic. Uncouth but charismatic, Ali still seeks pleasures of the flesh, which is how he meets Yeter (Nursel Kose), a severely beautiful Turkish woman who works in a brothel. Taken with her charms and pleased to be speaking his native tongue, Ali proposes that he become her sole customer and asks her to move in with him.