Head-On

From 2004, Fatih Akin’s international breakthrough precedes his new The Edge of Heaven (see SIFF guide, page TK). A romance of sorts, which begins in a mental ward, Head-On mainly follows the volatile marriage-of-convenience between two ethnic Turks living in Germany. Wild, free-loving Sibel (the incandescent Sibel Kekilli) wants to escape her conservative immigrant parents and violent brother, who beats her for even looking at a man. Twice her age, 40-ish Hamburg slacker Cahit (Birol Ünel) agrees to the sham union because . . . well, it’s unclear why, though he has a kind of boozy gallantry to him. Director Akin frankly depicts German racism, and he’s no less critical of Turkey, where the second half of the movie takes place. Istanbul’s brutal patriarchy and sexual double standards offer no refuge for Sibel. She’s free on the dance floor and in the bedroom, but almost nowhere else. Though unconfirmed at press time, it’s a good bet that Akin will be visiting SIFF. Pacific Place Cinemas, 600 Pine St., 448-2186, www.siff.net. $9–$11. 11 a.m. BRIAN MILLER

Sun., May 25, 11 a.m., 2008

 
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