Of Heaven (Auf Der Anderen Seite)
Written and Directed by Fatih Akin
from 22nd February 2008
A beautiful tale is woven together seamlessly, timeless, throbbing with
love, life, leaving, longing, separation and ultimately death.
Set in modern Germany, the heart of Europe, the life of the large Turkish
community is told in this tableau concerning the fate of a prostitute
and the activist daughter she left behind. The colours, sounds and visions
of human life are depicted so remarkably. I felt instantly connected to
A professor of German philosophy - himself of Turkish origin - drones
on to bored students in Hamburg about 18th/19th century writer Goethe
being counter-revolutionary, meanwhile on the streets, the activists celebrate
May Day. The scene cuts to scenes of police arrests and the treatment
of people in the hands of police states.
People, separated by mindless borders, languages and police bureaucracy
where miles of red tape abounds. Comrades in the struggle of radical activism
lift the veil on the underbelly of Europe’s partner and Nato ally.
The young fight for education as a human right with ‘Öcalan’,
‘Kurdish independence’ and ‘proletarians of the world
unite’ slogans. The theme of globalisation and neo-colonial attitudes
is bubbling beneath the surface.
I came away more of a human being than when I entered, like Zihan (life)
- a film shown by the Turkish community in Liverpool - we glimpsed the
edge of darkness but also the tip of heaven too.