HEAD-ON | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


In this broody, off-beat love story, two Turkish immigrants living in Hamburg meet at the hospital after respective suicide attempts and enter into a fake marriage. For young Sibel, the union provides her escape from her restrictive traditional home; for the 40ish Cahit, anything would be a change from his self-destructive, near-derelict lifestyle. Through the couple's fraught relationship, writer-director Fatih Akin (In July) explores the messy state of immigrant cultures in Europe. It's little wonder Cahit and Sibel are half-mad and unable to reconcile their basic needs; their inner lives are consumed with fitting in -- or purposely not fitting in (each seeks solace in fringe behavior). Akin's film is an intentionally disorienting jumble of cultures, tones and languages; even musically the film alternates between a traditional Turkish lament and a noisy post-punk soundtrack. As in any amour fou, the tale loses some momentum in the final act, and the conclusion, while perfunctory and believable, feels cobbled together. In German and Turkish, with subtitles. (AH)

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