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GEGEN DIE WAND (photo © Wueste Film/Kerstin Stelter)

"You can put an end to your life without killing yourself," whispers the doctor. And Cahit, 40, whose suicide attempt has brought him to the psychiatric clinic, knows what he means: by starting a new life. Yet the anguish in his soul continues to cry out for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel – young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German – loves life too much for a proper Muslim girl. To escape from the prison of her devout, conservative family, she fakes a suicide attempt. But it brings shame, not freedom; only marriage can save her. And so she begs Cahit to marry her. Reluctantly, he agrees. Perhaps to save her. Perhaps to do one meaningful thing in his life. They share an apartment, but little else. She savors her freedom; he has his occasional fling with his sometime girlfriend. Until love enters his life on tip-toes. As he falls in love with Sibel, he finds a new joy in life, the strength to go on. Sibel continues to see other men. Until she, too, realizes that she loves Cahit. But by now it is too late: an explosion of jealousy ends in a violent death. Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey. Her heart, her mind, her soul are still with Cahit – but for how long?
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Fatih Akin
Screenplay Fatih Akin
Cinematography Rainer Klausmann
Andrew Bird
Klaus Maeck
Tamo Kunz
Cast Catrin Striebeck, Sibel Kekilli, Birol Uenel
Producers Stefan Schubert, Ralph Schwingel
Production Company Wüste Film/Hamburg, in co-production with corazón international
Runtime 120 min
Format 35 mm, color
Subtitled Versions English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Berlin 2004 (In Competition), Belgrade 2004, Skopje 2004, Buenos Aires 2004, Sydney 2004, Shanghai 2004, Moscow 2004, Karlovy Vary 2004, Denver 2004, Montreal 2004, New York 2004, Rio 2004, London 2004, Pusan 2004, Seville 2004, Ljubljana 2004, Sofia 2008 (Retrospective), Seattle 2008, Gijon 2009, Plus Cameraimage 2011, Istanbul 2014, Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Lecce 2015, Zlín 2015, Angers 2016, Palm Springs 2019, Transilvania IFF 2019, Sao Paulo 2019
Awards Golden Bear Berlin 2004, FIPRESCI Award Berlin 2004, Best Actor & Best Actress Nuremberg 2004, German Film Awards 2004 for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Leading Actress, Best Leading Actor, Best Cinematography, Audience Award Seville 2004, European Film Awards 2004 for Best Film & Best Direction
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Nordmedia
German Distributor Timebandits Films/Potsdam

World Sales
Bavaria Media International

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