February 16, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108 and Strand Releasing invite you and a guest to a special screening of


Written & Directed by Fatih Akin
Produced by Ralph Schwingel and Stefan Schubert
Introduced by SCA M.A. student Alex Bush

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, February 16th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Winner, Golden Bear, 54th Berlin International Film Festival
Best Film, Best Actor in a Leading Role: Birol Ünel, Best Actress in a Leading Role: Sibel Kekilli, Best Director: Fatih Akin, Best Cinematography: Rainer Klausmann

About Head-On

40-year-old Cahit (Birol Unel) is brought to a German psychiatric clinic after attempting suicide and sets out to start a new life, even as he longs for drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Sibel (Sibel Kekilli) is young, pretty and, like Cahit, Turkish-German. She lives a lifestyle that is a bit too wild for her devout, conservative Muslim family and fakes a suicide attempt to try and escape them. But the incident brings shame upon her family, who insist that only marriage can save her. Sibel begs Cahit to marry her and he reluctantly agrees, perhaps in an effort to save her and to find meaning in his own life. Initially the two share an apartment and little else as Sibel sees other men and Cahit continues to have flings with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Gradually, however, Cahit begins to fall in love with Sibel and she, in turn, comes to realize that she loves him—but not before an incident of jealous violence tests this fledgling romance. When Cahit is sent to jail and Sibel flees to Turkey, her heart, mind and soul remain with him—but for how long?

The winner of the top prize award (Golden Bear) at the Berlin Film Festival, Five Lola Awards (Germany’s Oscars) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress, acclaimed filmmaker Fatih Akin’s Head-On delivers on the promise of his previous features with this raw, powerful love story that adroitly explores Turkish-German culture and the relationship of two people trying to find a middle ground between conflicting cultures.

35mm print provided courtesy of Strand Releasing. Not Rated. Running time: 118 minutes. In German and Turkish, with English subtitles.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


About Alex Bush, SCA Critical Studies M.A. student

Alex Bush is entering her final semester of the Critical Studies M.A. program at USC. Originally from Seattle, she studied Comparative Literature at Harvard and has spent time living in Munich and Berlin. Before returning to school, she worked in Seattle as a film critic and a programmer. Her research interests include Turkish-German cinema and television in the context of 21st-century European identity formation. Head-On might be her favorite movie.

Alex will discuss the history of Turkish labor migration to Germany and the resultant Turkish-German cultural exchange that provide important context for Head-On's narrative and themes. She will address some recent trends in migrant and diasporic cinema in contemporary Europe, and Fatih Akin as a filmmaker who embraces the empowering nature of hybrid cultural identity. 

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu