Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul

Genre:  Documentary
Running Time:  90 min.
Release Date: June 2, 2006 (limited)
DVD: September 19, 2006

Current rating: Rating: 3.10
based on 109 votes and 10 reviews
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Cast: Alexander Hacke, Erkin Koray, Brenna MacGrimmon, Orhan Gencebay, Sezen Aksu


Alexander Hacke, a member of the German band Einsturzende Neubauten for more than 20 years, came into contact with the city of Istanbul and its music while producing the score for the movie Head-On (Gegen Die Wand). While there, he met the members of the neo-psychedelic band Baba Zula, who asked him to sit in when their bass player dropped out. It didn’t take much to persuade him. He didn’t just bring his bass guitar, but a complete mobile recording studio, including his “magic mike,” which he has used to capture exotic sounds from all over the world. He calls his approach to collecting sounds “street recording,” and it allows him to make professional recordings just about anywhere.

And so he sets out to capture the musical diversity of Istanbul onto his hard drive. His aim is to expose western ears to the broadest possible spectrum of Turkish music, ranging from modern electronic sounds, rock and hip-hop, right down to classical “Arabesque” music. Fatih Akin, director of Head-On, accompanies him with his camera and shoots a portrait of Istanbul’s lively music scene, whose music suffuses every part of the city. Hacke wanders through an alien, contradictory, lively, and seductive world, collecting impressions and tracks, drifting along in the unstoppable stream of this mega city of myriad facets.

But no hard drive or film can do justice to the diversity and overwhelming force of musical and visual impressions this city generates. With this experience he finally returns home, a musical treasure in his baggage, to present to the world.

Director: Fatih Akin
Studio: Mongrel Media
Producer(s): Fatih Akin, Sandra Harzer-Kux, Christian Kux, Klaus Maeck, Andreas Thiel
Screenplay: Fatih Akin

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