Head-On (Gegen die Wand)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Book about Fatih Akin's multi-award winning film Gegen die Wand (Head-On, 2004) to be published in the BFI Film Classics Series

When Head-On (Gegen die Wand, 2004) won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, it was hailed as a turning point for German cinema. Not only was this unconventional love story the first German film in eighteen years to win the prestigious award, but the success of writer-director Fatih Akin was also celebrated as the revival of German auteur cinema. Meanwhile Turkey claimed Akin as its own prodigal son and his film a victory for Turkish cinema.

Daniela Berghahn provides a detailed and entertaining account of the film's artistic inspirations, its production history and the debates that surrounded it in the German and Turkish press. Arguing that much of the media discourse on Turkish German identity politics detracted from Akin's remarkable artistic achievement, Berghahn instead situates Head-On in the critical contexts of global art cinema and transnational melodrama. This comparative approach excavates new layers of meaning and offers highly original insights into Akin's landmark film.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Film Institute
Number of pages96
ISBN (Electronic)9781838716073 , 9781838716080
ISBN (Print)9781844576722
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2015

Publication series

NameBFI Film Classics
PublisherBFI Publishing


  • Fatih Akin
  • Turkish German cinema
  • transnational melodrama
  • transnational auteur
  • global art cinema
  • diasporic cinema

Cite this