DVD Head-On (DVD 23273),
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  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Fatih Akin's HEAD-ON (GEGEN DIE WAND) is a powerful film about sexuality and suicide, centering on two Turks living in Germany. Drunken loser Cahit (Birol Unel) drives his car into a wall; Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) slashes her wrists because she can't stand living with her traditional Muslim family. The two meet in the hospital and decide to join in a marriage of convenience in which he can get himself a cute young housekeeper and she can finally move away from home. They live together in Hamburg, where she begins to sleep around dangerously and he grows surprisingly jealous, leading to tragedy. Set to a soundtrack of 1980s music (Depeche Mode, Talk Talk, Sisters of Mercy), their lives continue to fall apart, lost to a world of lies and deception, drugs and violence, and emotional pain.

    Filmed on location in Germany and Turkey, HEAD-ON is an intense look at two lost souls who can't stand life as they know it. They spend a lot of time in clubs, trying to drink and dance away their troubles, but they seem doomed to constant failure and unhappiness. Unel and Kekilli are shockingly realistic in the lead roles, adding to the overall poignancy of the harsh and disturbing film. There is a large Turkish contingent living in Germany, many of whom came over in the 20th century seeking employment; in HEAD-ON, Akin delves into the resultant changing cultures with deep insight in this moving drama.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 241127

  • Credits
    Birol Unel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck, Guven Kyrac, Meltem Cumbul, Cem Akin, Aysel Iscan, Demir Gokgol, Stefan Gebelhoff
  • Critic Reviews
    "[T]he balance of cultural and dramatic truth is exquisite."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "Mr. Akin's commitment to his characters is uncompromising, as is his humanity....The film has a terrific sense of place."
    New York Times

    "Impeccably made, uncompromising in its implacable vision of the deranging power of love, sex and controlled substances, this savage and staggering film knows how to take our breath away."
    Los Angeles Times

    "The brightest, boldest, grittiest German film since RUN LOLA RUN, it's a breakneck blast of bracingly bitter air from the New Europe."

    "This is all fascinating stuff...and cinematically potent..."
    Sight and Sound

    "The movie is well and fearlessly acted, and the writer-director is determined to follow her story to a logical and believable conclusion, rather than letting everyone off the hook with a conventional ending."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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