"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: suicide 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 onetime girlfriend. Until love enters his life on tip-toes. As he falls in love with Sibel, he finds 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?
Golden Bear, FIPRESCI Award | Berlinale, Germany, 2004
Best Film, Best Direction | European Film Awards, , 2004
Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Leading Actress, Best Leading Actor, Best Cinematography | German Film Awards, Germany, 2004
Golden Camera 300 | Brothers Manaki IFF, Macedonia, 2004
Best Actor, Best Actress | Nuremberg FF “Turkey- Germany”, Germany, 2004
Audience Award | Seville IFF, Spain, 2004
CAST & CREW
Ralph Schwingel, Stefan Schubert
Director of Photography
Alexander Hacke, Maceo Parker
Birol Unel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck
Born 1973, Hamburg, Germany. A son of Turkish parent, he studied film at the University Of Fine Arts Of Hamburg, graduating in 2000. From 1993 to 2004 he worked with Wüste Filmproduktion, Hamburg. In 2003, founded Corazon International Film Production Company. 2005, was a visiting professor at the College of Fine Arts of University of Fine Arts of Hamburg.
Sensin – Du bist es!/Sensin…You’re the One! (1995); Getürkt/Weed (1996); Kurz und schmerzlos/Short Shqrp Shock (1998); Im Juli/In July (2000); Denk ich an Deutchland – Wir haben vergessen zurückzukehren (2000); Selmo (2002); Gegen die Wand/Head-On (2004); Visions of Europe (segment Die alten bosen Lieder/The Evil Old Songs, 2004); Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (2005); Auf der anderen Seite/The Edge of Heaven (2007); New York, I Love You (segment, 2009); Deutchland 09: 13 kurtze Filme zur Lage der Nation/Germany 09: 13 Short Films about the State of the Nation (segment Der name Murat Kurnaz/Being Murat Kurnaz, 2008); Soul Kitchen (2009)