Head-On: A collision with identity

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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