You know, you can put an end to your life without committing suicide, the doctor whispers into forty-year-old Cahits ear. Cahit, who is recovering from a suicide attempt in a special hospital ward, knows exactly what he means. Even if he still longs to numb the anger deep inside him with drugs and alcohol. Sibel is a beautiful twenty-year-old who, like Cahit, is of Turkish extraction. She loves life far too much to behave like a decent Muslim. Her own suicide attempt was a bid to escape the prison that her very devout, traditional parents have built around her. She has survived, only to discover that her action has by no means paved the way for the freedom she so desires. As Sibel sees it, her only chance to escape her family now is to ask Cahit to marry her. After some initial hesitation, Cahit agrees - perhaps because he realises that this is a way of saving himself. But it may just be because, for once in his life, hed like to do something useful. Before long, the pair are sharing an apartment and very little else. Sibel relishes every moment of her new-found freedom. Cahit, however, continues to go to bed with his sometime lover, Maren. But then, gradually, love begins to creep into his life. Cahit falls in love with Sibel; in time, he even starts to enjoy life again, finding the strength he needs to go on. Although Sibel continues to see other men, she too discovers that she has fallen in love with Cahit. However, her realisation comes too late: in a fit of jealous rage Cahit kills one of her lovers. Cahit is arrested. Disowned by her family, Sibel escapes to Istanbul where she meets Cahit on his release from prison. Apparently, he still believes that they have a future together . . .
by Fatih Akin
with Birol Unel, Sibel Kekilli, Catrin Striebeck