THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Fatih Akin). 122 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (May 23). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NNNN
The miracle of this movie is its sublime subtlety when it comes to the big issues. Director Fatih Akin nails religious extremism, for example, in a 30-?second scene, and you’re halfway through the movie before you realize what he’s taken on: revolutionary sectarianism, racism, Germany’s changing demographic, parent-?child conflict.
When Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), a Turkish immigrant living in Germany, accidentally kills Yeter, his new live-?in girlfriend (also his ex-?fave hooker), his son Nejat (Baki Davrak) travels to Istanbul to find Yeter’s daughter, Ayten (Nurgül Yesilçay).
Radical activist Ayten, however, is in prison there, having just been deported from Germany, and her German lover, Lotte, is doing what she can to get her out, much to the distress of Lotte’s mother (Hanna Schygulla, awesome as always).
Akin’s 2007 screenplay winner at Cannes dips and twists, making these lives converge in ways reminiscent of Crash and Babel. But unlike any of these multi-?threaded scenarios, The Edge Of Heaven is an anti-?thriller; headers before each segment tell you what’s going to happen. That, however, doesn’t stop this terrifically crafted film from having a thrilling emotional impact.
Don’t miss it.