Film Reviews: “Auf der anderen Seite” (The Edge of Heaven)

As part of their work in the Multicultural Germany undergraduate seminar at UC Berkeley, students in the course have reviewed recent German films relating in various ways to topics of migration, multiculturalism, and contemporary German identity. Ying Ruan and Ann Huang both reviewed Fatih Akin’s 2007 film “Auf der anderen Seite” (The Edge of Heaven). 

Review by Ying RuanThe movie follows stories of six people from either Germany or Turkey, presenting political and social issues faced by elder and younger generations of Turkish, Turkish-German and German people. The various backgrounds of characters lead to a sophisticated situation depicting Turkish and German society. The film explores transnational movement, cultural integration and globalization as results of the influx of Turkish immigrants into Germany since 1961…[read full review here]

Review by Ann HuangIn his drama Auf der anderen Seite, released in 2007, Fatih Akin depicts the fatefully interwoven lives of six individuals: two mothers, two daughters, and a father and his son. Each filial pair, distinct in its respective place on the identity spectrum between German-German and Turkish-Turk, begins the narrative with parallel paths. The eventual convergence of these paths, as driven by a series of tragedies, bring the story full-circle from Bremen to Istanbul, and consolidates the spoken languages, from German, Turkish, and English, to simply English, as a representation of a bridging “third language”. Within these individual segments, Akin presents obstacles to mutual acceptance between the Turkish ‘outsider’ and the German ‘native’ and the fatal violence which results from this disunity. Released in 2007, the film situates itself firmly within the racial and cultural tensions of contemporary Germany and explores questions integral to the discussion of multiculturalism – namely, the impediments to integration and the requisites for tolerance and acceptance…[read full review here]

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