The Edge of Heaven

first_imgThe Edge of Heaven4/522nd FebruaryAlthough it’s been nominated for the Palme d’Or, you’d be excused if you’d never even heard of this film. A shame really because, despite its faults, it serves up just as worthy a piece of human drama as similarly-themed Oscar-baiting Hollywood fare. The film follows two interweaving plots. The first begins in Germany with Turkish professor Nejat, played with solemn, care-worn intensity by Baki Davrak. It deals with the relationship between him, his father, and a prostitute called Yeter. Her death drives father and son apart, with Nejat returning to his country of birth to look for Yeter’s daughter, Ayten. The second strand focuses on Ayten, an activist forced to flee Istanbul. Ending up in Germany seeking her mother she instead finds Lotte, a student, whom she falls in love with. When Ayten fails to gain asylum and is deported back to Turkey, Lotte’s attempts to help her have tragic consequences.This film is about death.It flags this up by titling the first and second acts as particular characters’ deaths, which rather reduces tension as we can predict the outcomes. However, the crux of the overlapping stories is how loss affects people and ultimately brings them together. It doesn’t yield easy resolutions – the seemingly inevitable meeting of Nejat and Ayten, for instance, is held from us by the director, with their evasions often due only to the narrowest of differences between timelines and journeys. There are weaknesses. The contrivances, a staple of this ‘Short Cuts’ style of cinema, often stretch believability and credibility, and the parallels between the characters’ conflicts and those between Turkey and Germany are heavy-handed. But the film still remains a reasonably effective look at death, family, grief and passion, and how they unite us all.        by Harry Thompsonlast_img

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *