Nejat (Baki Davrak) lives in Hamburg, Germany, where he teaches at a university. He is the pride and joy of his retired father Ali (Tuncel Turkiz), a widower who is very lonely. To solve this problem, Ali makes a surprising proposal to Yeter (Nursel Kose), a Turkish prostitute: come live with me, have sex with me when I want it, in exchange for a monthly stipend. She decides to accept after two Turkish fundamentalists threaten to hurt her unless she gives up being a whore. When Nejat meets Yeter, he is taken aback by her profession but impressed with the fact that she regularly sends money to her 27-year-old daughter Ayten (Nurgul Yesilcay) who lives in Turkey.
The accidental death of Yeter sends Nejat on a mission of mercy to locate her daughter. While in Istanbul, he purchases a small bookstore whose owner has decided to go back to Germany. He continues his search for Ayten in hopes of helping support her studies. He believes "knowledge and education are human rights."
In this character-driven drama, Turkish writer and director Fatih Akin deals with the messy and complicated feelings that are connected with familial love, honoring one's commitments, and trying to connect with strangers. Nejat cannot find Ayten because she is a political activist who has fled Turkey and is in Hamburg trying to find her mother. She is befriended by Lotte (Patrycia Ziolkowska), a German student who invites this homeless rebel to stay with her. This does not please Suzanne (Hanna Schygulla), her mother, who is not happy when her daughter falls in love with this stranger. Yet Suzanne pays for an attorney when Ayten is arrested and asks for political asylum in Germany. Her request is denied because the court rules that Turkey cannot be all bad since it is about to join the European Union. Ayten is sent back to her homeland where she is put in prison. More developments bring Lotte, Nejat, Suzanne, and Ali together in Turkey.
The Edge of Heaven is a well-realized drama filled with six interesting people whose lives are intertwined through circumstances beyond their control. The spiritual practice of openness is so important in a world where we constantly must deal with strangers. It involves the ability to go with the flow without expecting predetermined outcomes. Openness means making ourselves available to out-of-the-ordinary opportunities such as when Yeter moves in with Ali or Nejat takes over the bookstore in Istanbul or Lotte gives Ayten a place to stay or when Suzanne makes a loving connection with her daughter. As Belleruth Naparstek has observed, "Heartful practice is about keeping the heart open to the world around us. . . . It's about seeing the connections, the interlocking webs of energy among people and things, and residing as much as possible in that place of no separation." See and experience this spiritual practice as it is played out in The Edge of Heaven.
Special DVD features include "The Making Of The Edge of Heaven."