It is a rare occurrence for me to leave a movie theater and to immediately be ecstatically ready to return to the same film for a second viewing. This, however, is exactly the case for Fatih Akin’s latest film The Edge of Heaven. Methodically deliberate for every second of its draining 122 minutes, The Edge of Heaven refuses to rush its multi-layered, cross cultural narrative, which all builds to a contemplative final moment of rapturous beauty. Its subdued atmosphere and patient tone, similar to that of Akin's earlier feature Head-On (2005) is surprising for a film that sounds so elaborate, far reaching, and ambitious (as that has seemingly become a negative aspect) yet it is precisely this balance that makes The Edge of Heaven so powerfully effective.
Led by an array of rock solid performances, crisp direction, and an ingenious screenplay (which won the Best Screenplay award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival), Akin and his colleagues have crafted an subtly intense experience reflecting the difficult relationship between Turkey and Germany. Yet The Edge of Heaven reaches beyond this culturally specific target and has mass appeal to any individual or group that is waiting for their ship to come in. Without a doubt, The Edge of Heaven is one of the best film you will see this year.
by James Hansen