The Turkish film “Auf der Anderen Seite,” also known as “The Edge of Heaven,” screened at 7 p.m. Monday in the IU Cinema. The film was the third and final entry into the “Between Worlds: Cultural Hybridity in Turkish Films” series.
The series was created as a collaboration between the IU Cinema and Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, the Center for the Study of the Middle East, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Center for Documentary Research and Practice.
Also contributing was Directed by Women, an initiative celebrating the creative work of women filmmakers, which was founded in 2015 by Barbara Ann O’Leary, IU Cinema’s founding social media specialist and blog editor.
“The films in the series illustrate different kinds of intercultural connections and conflicts that characterize Turkish society, showing the complexity of what it means to live in or identify with the country,” said Noah Arjomand, a postdoctoral scholar for the Hamilton Lugar School and curator of the film, in an email. “‘The Edge of Heaven’ gives us a window into the transnational experience of those moving between Turkey and Germany and contending with cultural and legal difficulties in both places.”
“The Edge of Heaven” follows a cast of interconnected characters and explores the interactions of people with various cultural values and ethnic backgrounds. The film’s characters find themselves rejected from their society by arbitrary cultural or political lines. The hybridization of culture, or the adopting of different cultures' aspects, practices and ideas, is demonstrated as a way for social outcasts to find themselves when they feel that no particular culture accounts for their needs or beliefs.
Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin wrote and directed this film, which earned him the award for Best Screenplay at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
Arjomand said the IU Cinema screened the film because of the interest of a diverse IU student body, faculty and staff, especially among those interested in Central Eurasian and Germanic Studies. But the story behind the film is universal.
“It is a deeply moving, beautifully crafted film, with stories of love and death interspersed with moments of sharp humor," Arjomand said.