Most of The Edge of Heaven feels like a shaggy dog story. It’s not until well into the second half of the film that writer-director Fatih Akin shows where he’s headed with his tale.
The first of the movie’s three acts focuses on the relationship between a pair of Turkish émigrés living in Bremen, Germany. Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz) is a lonely widower who enlists the services of a prostitute named Yeter (Nursel Köse), who calls herself Jessy and wears a blonde wig. Muslim fundamentalists track her down and threaten her if she doesn’t abandon her sinful life. Ali offers to take her in—to pay her to live with him—and she agrees. This section is called “Yeter’s Death,” but Akin fakes us out: yes, the character dies, but not at the hands of these strong-arming Muslims.