Sunday, June 1, 2008

The edge of Heaven

This is probably the best film I've seen in at least 3 months.

-"Do you do French?" he asked her.
-"French, Italian, Greek, I'll do it international for you," she replies.
And a few days after:
-"I'm looking for a woman to live with. I would pay as much as you earn here. In return, you only sleep with me. Agreed?"
- "Have you fallen for me, old man?"

With that, the story begins.

But I mislead you. The film isn't mostly about them, a brash German old man and a prostitute from Turkey. The story evolves around three single parent families. Ali the old man accidentally kills Yeter, which led his son, Nejat travels back to Istanbul to find her daughter in order to help her. Ayten, the daughter, is in Turkish resistance group. She befriends and beds Lotte (yes, it's girl-girl), with her predatory charm, when crossing the border to Germany in her failed attempt of seeking asylum. Lotte tries all she could, even defying her mom's admonishment, to help Ayten after she is send back to Turkey and prison, only to be killed by freakish violence. Susanne, Lotte's mom, after reading Lotte's dairy decides to take on her daughter's mission of freeing Ayten... It takes tremendous story-telling skill to weave all this convoluted lines together with controlled pace.

And if you think I am telling too much spoilers, worry not. The film is so compelling that it urges you to watch on even if you already know the plot. In fact, the writer and director is confident enough that he pronounces the outcomes of characters' fate with captions before each segment.

I didn't intentional mislead you though. One of the merit of the film is that it depicts life, not just sells cheap emotions and exhorts values with coincidences. Although it's about tragedy and how people deal with it, it has plenty of light-hearted moments. It doesn't try to weight you down. It doesn't make the film less power. The scene where Susanne cries for the loss of her daughter in a hotel room just shatters your heart. Each character is lively, having faults of their own, which makes the virtues in their action more convincing.

The generational relationship is at the center of the issues covered. It also touches on the political reality of Turkey and Germany in the dawn of Turkey's admittance into the European Union. But most importantly, this film is about forgiveness and the power of love comes with it: Susanne's forgiveness towards Ayten, Nejat's forgiveness towards his father. With Nejat's telling of Koran story of Abraham and Issac, you realize forgiveness is the passage to the edge of heaven.

- "Only God is entitled to solitude."
- "Bravo."


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1 comment:

  1. 昨晚看的时候还想写点什么,但还是放弃...确实不容错过,谢谢推荐好东西