I like the English title of our film, Head-On, because
it sums up the spirit of our film. The German title, Gegen die
Wand, translates literally as “against the wall,”
which means you’re doing something futile, i.e. “banging
your head against the wall.”
In making the film my crew and I went “head on” straight
into the wall and the wall collapsed and we raced past it.
For a moment, I was joyous and peaceful but the moment was short-lived
because I realized there were other walls ahead and they would have
to come down too. But maybe these walls should remain up because tearing
down walls is a dangerous business. You can get hurt and so can other
people. Doing this changed me: I lost my innocence. My naïveté
is no longer an advantage, it’s a burden. I became a celebrity
overnight. Now, when I enter a room, I feel like everyone’s looking
at me. There are so many new people in my life that it’s impossible
to give them the attention they want and they deserve. Even my mother
complains that I’ve become arrogant and it breaks my heart.
Although I’ve arrived where I’ve always wanted to be, I
don’t necessarily like it all the time.
I’ve had offers to work in Hollywood and the truth is they don’t
really need me and I’m not too sure it makes sense for me to work
there. It’s strange, in the beginning of your career you imagine
things will be different when you begin making it...things like you
won’t fuck groupies, you won’t lose respect for other people.
There was a time when Kurt Cobain seemed unfathomable to me and his
suicide was incomprehensible. Now, I get it! It’s as though you
have a subjective myth of yourself. It’s as though someone were
a fan of let’s say, Prince or Madonna, and he finally gets to
meet them. Sometimes it turns out they’re assholes, but sometimes
they’re even better than you imagined. When that happens, it’s
as if the whole world is a better, brighter place. Hope surfaces and
you imagine everything is fabulous and we’ll all live happily
And it has to be better! Otherwise why would we go on breaking down
walls: to change the world, to change your world! Every victory brings
a new challenge. You pay the price; you run for your life. But when
I look behind at the ruins, at what used to be a wall, I’m happy
that I’ve torn it down. It gives me the self-confidence to bring
down other walls.
— Istanbul, August 2004