Gegen die Wand

Germany, Turkey


You can put an end to your life without killing yourself, whispers the doctor. And Cahit, 40, whose suicide attempt has brought him to the psychiatric clinic, knows what he means: by starting a new life. Yet the anguish in his soul continues to cry out for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel - young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German - loves life too much for a proper Muslim girl. To escape from the prison of her devout, conservative family, she fakes a suicide attempt. But It brings shame, not freedom; only marriage can save her. And so she begs Cahit to marry her. Reluctantly, he agrees. Perhaps to save her. Perhaps to do one meaningful thing in his life. They share an apartment, but little else. She savors her freedom; he has his occasional fling with his sometime girlfriend. Until love enters his life on tip-toes. As he falls in love with Sibel, he finds a new joy in life, the strength to go on. Sibel continues to see other men. Until she, too, realizes that she loves Cahit. But by now it is too late: an explosion of jealousy ends in a violent death. Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey. Her heart, her mind, her soul are still with Cahit - but for how long?

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Fatih Akin

Written by: Fatih Akin

Produced by: Ralph Schwingel, Stefan Schubert

Cinematography: Rainer Klausmann

Editing: Andrew Bird

Production Design: Tamo Kunz

Costume Design: Katrin Aschendorf

Make-Up & Hair: Daniel Schröder , Nursen Balci

Cast: Birol Ünel (Cahit), Sibel Kekilli (Sibel), Catrin Striebeck (Maren), Meltem Cumbul (Selma), Güven Kiraç (Seref)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 2004
  • People's Choice Award 2004
  • European Director 2004
  • European Actress 2004
  • European Actor 2004
  • European Screenwriter 2004
  • Feature Film Selection 2004