more head on


[hed-on, -awn]

Head-On (German: Gegen die Wand (Against the Wall); Turkish: Duvara Karşı) is a 2004 film written and directed by Fatih Akın.


Cahit Tomruk (played by Birol Ünel) is a German of Turkish descent in his 40s. He has given up on life after the death of his wife. Furthermore, the anguish in his soul continues to cry out for cocaine and alcohol to numb his pain. One night, he intentionally crashes into a wall (hence the title), and barely survives. At the psychiatric clinic he is taken to, Sibel Güner (Sibel Kekilli), another German Turk who has tried to commit suicide, approaches him. She asks Cahit to carry out a formal marriage with her out of the blue so that she can break out of the strict rules of her conservative family. Cahit is turned off by the idea at first, but then he agrees to take part in this plan. As Sibel tells him frankly that she prefers an independent sex life, they live as roommates with separate private lives for a while. They eventually fall in love, and things take a different turn as Cahit kills one of her lovers out of anger and thus he has to go to prison. While he is in prison, she goes to Istanbul, to which he follows her upon his release. Upon arrival, he finds that she is in a relationship and now has a daughter. Sibel's cousin Selma does not tell Cahit how to find her, so he waits in a hotel for Sibel's call. It eventually comes. He asks her to run away with him, and she agrees to, but never shows. The film ends with Cahit on a bus, presumably traveling to the town where he was born.



Birol was an actual alcoholic in real life as he was as Cahit in Gegen die Wand. In fact, about half through the filming of Gegen die Wand, a Doctor told Birol that he had to stop drinking or he would die. Birol stopped drinking. In the movie, one notices that Birol (Cahit) lost considerable weight by the time he is in Turkey. Actress Sibel Kekilli underwent an appendectomy during the filming in Turkey.

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