Side by side: depicting semblance and difference in Fatih Akın’s Auf der anderen Seite [The Edge of Heaven]
Fatih Akın’s Auf der anderen Seite (The Edge of Heaven/Yas¸amın Kıyısında, 2007) tells the intersecting stories of three sets of characters who move between Germany and Turkey. Filmed when Turkey’s application for membership of the European Union was under consideration, The Edge of Heaven contests essentialist constructions of cultural identity. Akın presents a counter-hegemonic narrative that acknowledges the particularity of Turkey and Turkish culture without losing sight of its affinities with European Germany. This essay examines how Akın’s filmic treatment of cultural affinities, differences, and hybridity with colour, sound, and the mise en sce`ne subverts Germany’s authoritative position at the centre of European culture and re-evaluates Turkey’s designation as peripheral.
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