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HEAD-ON aka GEGEN DIE WAND
USA: Strand Releasing
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Birol unel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck, Guven KiraÁ, Meltem Cumbul, Cem Akin, Aysel Iscan, Demir Gökgöl, Stefan Gebelhoff, Hermann Lause, Adam Bousdoukos, Ralph Misske, Mehmet Kurtulu
Director: Fatih Akin
Countries: Germany / Turkey
Language: German / Turkish (English subtitles)
USA: 118 mins
UK: 121 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains very strong language, strong sex, hard drug use and suicide theme
USA Release Date: 21 January 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 18 February 2005
40 year-old Cahit (Birol Unel) is brought to a German psychiatric clinic after attempting suicide and sets out to start a new life, even as he longs for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) is young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German. She lives a lifestyle that is a bit too wild for her devout, conservative Muslim family and fakes a suicide attempt to try and escape them. But the incident brings shame upon her family, who insist that only marriage can save her. Sibel begs Cahit to marry her and he reluctantly agrees, perhaps in an effort to save her and to find meaning in his own life. Initially the two share an apartment and little else as Sibel sees other men and Cahit continues to have flings with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Gradually, however, Cahit begins to fall in love with Sibel and she, in turn, comes to realize that she loves himóbut not before an incident of jealous violence tests this fledgling romance. When Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey, her heart, mind and soul remain with himóbut for how long?
The winner of the top prize award (Golden Bear) at this Berlin Film Festival 2004, Five Lola Awards (Germany's Oscars) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress, acclaimed filmmaker Fatih Akin's
HEAD-ON delivers on the promise of his previous features with this raw, powerful love story that adroitly explores Turkish-German culture and the relationship of two people trying to find a middle ground between conflicting cultures.