GEGEN DIE WAND
(Germany, Turkey 2004)
Head-On or Against the Wall is a bitter story of two outsiders under the dynamic direction of Fatih Akin, whose film In the Fade won the Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2018. A proper prologue to the 22nd Flora Theatre Festival!
directed by Fatih Akin
original idea and screenplay Fatih Akin
director of photography Rainer Klausmann
edited by Andrew Bird
music Alexander Hacke, Maceo Parker
cast Birol Ünel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck, Güven Kiraç, Meltem Cumbul, Zarah Jane McKenzie and others
A proper prologue to the 22nd Flora Theatre Festival! Head-On or Against the Wall is a bitter story of two outsiders under the dynamic direction of Fatih Akin, whose newest film In the Fade won the Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film of 2018. Forceful performances by Birol Ünel and Sibel Kekilli playing a mismatched couple. This raw romance from the Hamburg multicultural periphery was awarded the Golden Bear at Berlinale 2004.
Despite the tears, the blood and the booze, „Head-On“ is a hopeful film, if for no other reason than Cahit and Sibel can't be sized up or pinned down, their troubles filed under immigration and assimilation. Their tribulations are at once specific and universal, by turns grimly funny and darkly ironic. Set principally against the grubby environs of working-class Hamburg, in dives and derelict apartments, the film has a terrific sense of place. The city's grubbiness works a vivid contrast to the visions of Turkey that flicker throughout the film. Istanbul looks beautiful, but then so, too, does Cahit's wreck of an apartment, where anarchy and the freedom it promises linger as stubbornly as the smell of stale beer and cigarettes.
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 21 January 2005
The film provides an impression of a concert at certain moments, attempting to mute the aggressive music and capture the audience with the actors' performances which are very naturalistic. The characters of the two lovers cannot communicate with each other, hitting one another and resorting to irritated violence. They cannot resist their own animal-like obsessions, which they experience like a dark purgatory. (…) The images frame the characters as if they were continually desperately banging against walls which surround them, while searching in vain for their inner self and the freedom which, however, ruins their lives.
Michal Procházka, Právo, 29 April 2005