Gegen Die Wand is one of my favourite non-English language movies of recent times. The German movie (Head-On in English) was produced in 2004. The romantic drama is about an alcoholic named Cahit (Birol Unel) who meets a girl from strict Muslim background, Sibel (her real name is Sibel Kekilli), at a mental asylum after both fail to commit suicide. The most interesting scene is when Sibel, seeking to escape from her punishing parents, asks Cahit for a hand in marriage. Cahit, a German of Turkish origin, shouts in her face, “forget it!”. Sibel immediately smashes a beer glass on a bar table.
There is however more to the romantic, violent drama of the suicidal couple. Gegen Die Wand is so real on depiction of the daily lives of Turkish-Germans struggling with issues of identity and integration. Having lived in a Turkish-German neighbourhood for two months, it was very interesting to see how the issues of identity, integration play out in a moving love story.
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“For 50,000 dollars in the right hands you can test battery acid as skin lotion.” – German activist Birgit (played by Anneke Kim Sarnau) describing corruption in Kenya’s health ministry in the 2005 film, The Constant Gardener.
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“He had everything he needed – and you people, from the west, helped him stay in power until you saw sense.” – Falima, 23, at former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s palace on August 24, 2011 soon after rebels entered his compound. Her father disappeared in the early 2,000s after being caught speaking out against the regime.
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It is a waste of time to read The Politics of Betrayal: Diary of a Kenyan Legislator if you have been a journalist in Kenya in the last 10 years, a historian or just a keen observer of political events in Kenya. There is nothing new former MP Joe Khamisi reveals. His book is more of a compilation of facts from political news and commentaries in the last decade.
He misses the chance to feed our curiosity on how he helped to manage his constituency’s development funds (CDF) very well. (His constituency, Bahari in the Kenyan Coast, received an award in 2006 for the best management of the funds).
I am not convinced he brought to light the real experiences of an MP serving in Kenya’s 9th Parliament. He does not give us the backroom story of the MP who had to operate amid constant accusations of poor performance and low credibility of the legislature.
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