Director: Fatih Akin
Year Released: 2007
After a lonely, drunken fool 'accidentally' murders a prostitute, his dutiful son - a college professor - goes in search of that prostitute's daughter to make amends, but that young lady is actually a faux-terrorist and in trouble with the Turkish government. Though it's handsomely shot and the performances are credible, the script is laughably contrived, negating dramatic tension - it's as if Akin drew it up on paper, aligned the arrows just so and bent his characters' 'human' psychology to conform to his script's demands (he's also not above lazy over-simplifications: having a hooker with a heart of gold, associating a feminist political hostility with homosexuality). Films like this - those based on 'chance meetings' - are convenient and cozy in that there appears to be some Divine Plan where things work out 'just so,' and it just so happens to be that, for Akin, a sacrificial lamb is necessary (in this case, a young, naïve German student) for his plot threads to converge (too sad, naïve German student). The Cannes jury that awarded this the Best Screenplay honor had to have done it with tongues-firmly-in-cheeks … or simply like their movies safe and unambiguous.