Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

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First published: July 1, 2023 - Last updated: September 1, 2023


Author: Florian Gassner

Title: Fatih Akin's Head On

Subtitle: Challenging Mythologies of German Social Work in Gegen die Wand (2004)

In: German #MeToo: Rape Cultures and Resistance, 1770-2020

Edited by: Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson

Place: Rochester, NY

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer

Year: 2022 (Publiehed online: October 8, 2022)

Pages: 345-361

Series: Women and Gender in German Studies 10

ISBN-13: 9781640141353 (hardcover) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106062 (EPUB) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781800106055 (PDF) - Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 21st Century | European History: German History | Cases: Fictional Victims / Sibel Guner; Types: Rape; Representations: Films / Gegen die Wand


- Cambridge Core (Restricted Access)

- JSTOR (Restricted Access)

- Google Books (Limited Preview)


Author: Florian Gassner, Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies, University of British Columbia

Lecture: Gassner, Florian. »Fatih Akin's Gegen die Wand: Challenging German Mythologies of Social Work.« Forty-Third Conference of the German Studies Association. San Diego 2019. - Bibliographic Entry: Info

Summary: »Fatih Akin's Film Gegen die Wand (2004, Against the Wall; Head On, 2004) follows the existential crisis and eventual stabilization of two second-generation Turkish Germans living in Hamburg. The female protagonist, Sibel Guner (Sibel Kekilli), who is around twenty years old when the film begins, drives the action. Having survived an attempted suicide to escape the confines of her patriarchal family, she proposes a marriage of convenience with Cahit Tomruk (Birol Unel), who is almost twenty years older and also suicidal. After a period in which Sibel lives out her sexual fantasies with a series of lovers, she gradually develops a deep affection for Cahit. When a fatal, jealousy-induced altercation leaves him in prison, Sibel relocates to Istanbul, where she enters the world of substance abuse. The ensuing downward spiral ends in a gloomy bar where, during an alcohol- and drug-induced blackout, she is raped by her dealer. The sequence is not pornographic, but the camera does not spare the audience. We see Sibel from the side, from about four or five meters away, lying prostrate on the floor. Her assailant clumsily removes her trousers and rearranges her torso to enable his violent assault. The camera remains mercilessly static throughout the action; only a few cuts reduce our exposure to this agony. When he is done, the attacker coldly sends his victim into the Istanbul night, where her tragedy continues. On a dark street, she passes a group of men who start catcalling her. Sibel retaliates by insulting their manhood and physically assaulting the ringleader. Three times the men attack her, egged on by Sibel's unabating invectives, until one of them pulls a knife and stabs her. Taken aback by his own actions, the man retreats and calls out, 2Is that what you wanted? Is it?,2 before the group flees the scene, apparently leaving its victim for dead. The sequence concludes with Sibel being discovered by the headlights of a cab. The film resumes after five years, when she reemerges on the screen as a middleclass mother in a committed relationship.« (Source: Cambridge Core)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Germany | Film: Fatih Akin / Head on (film) | Sex and the law: Rape