In Fatih Akın’s Cinema and the New Sound of Europe, Berna Gueneli explores the transnational works of acclaimed Turkish-German filmmaker and auteur Fatih Akın. The first minority director in Germany to receive numerous national and international awards, Akın makes films that are informed by Europe’s past, provide cinematic imaginations about its present and future, and engage with public discourses on minorities and migration in Europe through his treatment and representation of a diverse, multiethnic, and multilingual European citizenry. Through detailed analyses of some of Akın’s key works—In July, Head-On, and The Edge of Heaven, among others—Gueneli identifies Akın’s unique stylistic use of multivalent sonic and visual components and multinational characters. She argues that the soundscapes of Akın’s films—including music and multiple languages, dialects, and accents—create an “aesthetic of heterogeneity” that envisions an expanded and integrated Europe and highlights the political nature of Akın’s decisions regarding casting, settings, and audio. At a time when belonging and identity in Europe is complicated by questions of race, ethnicity, religion, and citizenship, Gueneli demonstrates how Akın’s aesthetics intersect with politics to reshape notions of Europe, European cinema, and cinematic history.
Introduction: Fatih Akın: A Contemporary Filmmaker From Germany
1. Mapping Europe: The Road Movie Genre and Transnational European Space in Film
2. The Sound of Polyphony: Multilingualism, Multiethnicity, and Linguistic Empowerment in Head-On
3. The Sound of Music: Transnational Soundscapes
4. Expanding the Scope of European Cinema: Akın’s Cinematic Imagining of a Diverse Europe in Context
Conclusion: Intertextual Film--Transnational Film--Transnational Film History
Bibliography, Filmography/Discography, and Online Sources
Gueneli provides a much-needed full-length English language study of the transnational auteur Fatih Akın.This book offers needed breadth and depth of insight into Akın’s acclaimed powerful body of work. From his gangster films to arthouse works, from his road movies to costume dramas, Gueneli expolers the heterogenous German Turkish European intertextual complexities of his must-see films. And she does so with erudition and clarity.
Randall Halle, Director of Film and Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, author of The Europeanization of Cinema
Fatih Akın’s Cinema and the New Sound of Europe employs Germany’s successful filmmaker as an entryway into conceptualizing contemporary European cinema. Moving beyond the sum of national cinemas, the book highlights the significance of sound for the filmic imagination of migration. More than a case study of a single director, Berna Gueneli’s book will change the way we think about national and European cinema.
Barbara Mennel, author of Women at Work in Twenty-First-Century European Cinema