Connect with us


Head-On (Gegen die Wand) | Review

Suicide 101

Golden Bear winner shows love is lived the hard way.

Building itself as a German version of Nick Cassavetes’ She’s so Lovely this dark, at times too intense, haphazardly-weaved concoction shows that even in life’s darkest hour that the ability to love and the capacity for love is not an impossibility.

We’ve heard about arranged marriages, but this would probably best described as a ‘forced’ relationship where a pair of wrist-slitting Germans with Turkish blood have reached the cross roads in life, or perhaps the end of it. Fatih Akin’s award-winning drama is a quirky, sadistically difficult film filled that comes across as a self-inflicting wound concoction where a one-sided love story exchange explores the depths of suicidal souls who come together for an intensely-lived relationship.

Head-On works well as a title, the film narrative crashes a little everywhere, taking the film’s characters for one hell of a ride. With a purposely designed grungy–look; Akin focuses much of the narrative on the strain felt within and between its principle two characters. While the film provides some escapism with some much needed funnier anecdotes, the film then re-interrupts such moments with a rougher ride – blood in sprinkled on the canvas, hand-held shots make it slightly too real and some heavy musical tracks such as Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You” add to the grungy feel of the film.

Cahit and Sibel’s complicated connection is hard to grab hold of, mostly because of the film’s ambiguous nature. Akin’s Head-On shows that if you can’t change the world that one should change their own world, – but the extent of the grittiness and fevered pitch is far too stretched out and it affects the

film’s overall identity numbing itself in its own darkness.

Viewed in German/Turkish with English subtitles.

Viewed at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Rating 2 stars

Continue Reading
You may also like...

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

Click to comment

More in Reviews

To Top