HEAD ON (2004) by Fatih Akin
This is a brutal, very gritty and harsh love story from Germany.
Cahit, a Turkish man in his forties and Sibil, a 20-year-old Turkish woman who meet in a psychiatric facility in Germany when both have attempted suicide -- he by crashing his car into a wall ("head on"), she by slitting her wrists. Cahit is a purposeless rock 'n' roll loving boozer with a dead-end job collecting bottles at a club, and Sibel Güner is a young woman with conservative Turkish parents who wants to escape family pressures.
Sibel figures if he'll agree to marry her that'll get her away from her family. This is the irony of their situation: she must capitulate to the conventions of their culture in order to gain some freedom from it, and he must capitulate to society in order to get some sense of purpose.
Cahit is involved with his transsexual "friend" but agrees to marry Sibil--and they eventually even fall in love. Her love of life is exactly what he needs, and she's essentially just as wild in her way as he is in his -- but his angry, dark violence continue unabated and so does her promiscuity, and his brutal attack on one of her one night stands leads to jail and scandal, which in turn forces her to go to Istanbul. While he's incarcerated she writes him sustaining letters from Turkey -- their relationship is a stable element amid the surrounding chaos -- and after jail he goes to Turkey to find her.
What makes this story unique? How was it told? What was effective about it and what affected you? Describe how this film differs so wildly from a Hollywood love story. The brutality of these characters (neither of whom is completely loveable) is what makes the film so compelling to watch. How does the director bring out the hidden humanity in each of these very flawed human beings?