Head On (Gegen die Wand), Fatih Akin

Beautiful song and gorgeous food! That scene transported me back to my childhood – thought I could smell that familiar aroma of freshly cooked stuffed peppers when I watched Sibil preparing them.  Here is a link to the recipe of this delicious Turkish meal.

Last weekend the cold weather finally arrived just in time for welcoming the extra hour of sleep in exchange of 60 minutes earlier darkness, I didn’t complain. In fact, I had the perfect excuse to make myself comfortable on my sofa, tightly wrapped in my favourite blanket in order to stay cosy and warm and place a bottle of full-bodied Argentinian red wine next to a plate of spicy chorizo – the last few slices bought in Medina de Rioseco during my last stay – on a small table next to the sofa. After enjoying the first sip of the warming wine and slowly savouring several pieces of thinly sliced chorizo I felt content, switched on my laptop and watched “Gegen die Wand” (Head On) by Fatih Akin.

As with “The Edge of Heaven” “Head On” is brilliant. A movie – in German and Turkish – which has just enough dialogues, outstanding performances and a great soundtrack and which is radical, extreme and takes its audience together with the two protagonists on an emotional rollercoaster ride. “Head On” won many awards, such as the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival and the “Best Film” and  “Audience Award” at the European Film Awards in 2004.

It tells the story of two adults, who meet at a hospital in Hamburg after a failed suicide attempt. Cahit, a 40-year old alcoholic and drug addict, drives his car head on into a wall whilst Sibel wishes for freedom and live life to the full, but as a good Muslim daughter finds it hard break her ties from her Turkish family. Therefore she decides to find her freedom in death. Trying to escape from her traditional family Sibel persuades Cahit to marry her. Both didn’t expect that their marriage of convenience would lift them out of their desperation and that they would learn to find enjoyment in life again…but only for a short while…

Set in Hamburg and Istanbul Akin portrays the hidden agenda of German-born Turkish and Turkish-born-Turkish individuals in Germany, the effects of ones culture on identity and that identity is changeable.


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