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Year: 2005
USA: Strand Releasing
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Alexander Hacke, Baba Zula, Orient Expressions, Duman, Replikas, Erkin Koray, Ceza, Istanbul Style Breakers, Mercan Dede, Selim Sesler, Brenna MacGrimmon, Siyasiyabend, Aynur, Orhan Gencebay, Muzeyyen Senar, Sezen Aksu
Director: Fatih Akin
Countries: Germany / Turkey
Languages: German / Turkish / English (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 92 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate drugs references
USA Release Date: 9 June 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 24 February 2006 (Limited Release)
(in English / German)
US Distributor
UK Distributor


Award winning director Fatih Akin returns from the success of Head-On with a musical odyssey and along with Alexander Hacke takes us on a unique journey through Istanbul, looking at the vibrant musical scene which includes traditional Turkish music along with rock and hip-hop. The film is an absorbing portrait of the city that bridges Europe and Asia and continues the themes raised in Head-On by challenging notions of east and west. Alexander captures a variety of sounds on his magic mike and returns home with a musical treasure in his baggage that is the sound of Istanbul.

A maverick in Istanbul. Alexander Hacke, has been a member of the German avant garde band Einsturzende Neubauten for more than 20 years. He first came into contact with the city and its music while producing the score for the movie HEAD-ON. In Istanbul he met the members of the neopsychedelic band Baba Zula. When their bass player dropped out, he was asked to sit in for her.

Alex Hacke is a collector of musical styles and loves to experiment with sound, and so it didn't take much to persuade him. But he didn't just bring his bass guitar, he also brought along a complete mobile recording studio, including his "magic mike", which he has used to capture exotic sounds from all over the world. He calls his approach to collecting sounds "street recording", and it allows him to make professional recordings just about anywhere.

And so he sets out to capture the musical diversity of Istanbul onto his hard drive. His aim is to expose western ears to the broadest possible spectrum of Turkish music, ranging from modern electronic sounds, rock and hip-hop, right down to classical "Arabesque" music. Fatih Akin, director of HEAD-ON, accompanies him with his camera and shoots a portrait of Istanbul's lively music scene, whose music suffuses every part of the city, and which is dearly loved by all of its inhabitants. Hacke's home base is the venerable Buyuk Londra Oteli (Grand Hotel de Londres) in Istanbul's district of Beyoglu, probably the most "European" spot in all of Turkey. From here he wanders through an alien, contradictory, lively, and seductive world, collecting impressions and tracks, drifting along in the unstoppable stream of this mega city of myriad facets.

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