You might recall that last year's winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar came from Germany: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's superb drama The Lives of Others. The film examined the effects of a government spying upon its own citizens; in her review for Cinematical, Martha Fischer wrote: "What's most impressive about The Lives of Others is how smoothly it blends politics with both the traditional elements of thrillers and unabashed sentimentality." The Lives of Others is a tough act for anyone to follow. Cineuropa is reporting that Germany has selected another drama for their Academy Award submission this year, though with a decidedly different subject: Fatih Akin's The Edge of Heaven.

The Edge of Heaven won the screenplay prize at Cannes. Our own James Rocchi commented: "Akin's latest movie is about a father and son, and a mother and a daughter; it's also about the gulf and gap between Europe and Turkey, between the West and Islam, between repentance and forgiveness." He liked certain aspects of the movie, but couldn't shake his feeling "that The Edge of Heaven's twists and tricks are, in their own way, predictably unexpected. ... [It's] just another journey down what used to be the road less traveled."

I liked one of the director's previous films, Head On, very much, so despite the less than enthusiastic reviews I'm still hoping The Edge of Heaven gets picked up for US distribution. It opens theatrically in Germany on September 27. The official site has more pictures and information, though none of the text is in English.