Crossing the Bridge: the Sound of Istanbul (12A) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Fatih Akin, who made last year's terrific German-Turkish love story Head-On, sidesteps into documentary as he investigates the teeming musical heritage of Istanbul.

Framed as the cultural odyssey of German avant-gardist Alexander Hacke (of the band Einstürzende Neubauten), the film examines the multifarious styles - rock, rap, folk, street, torch - which have arisen from Istanbul's confluence of East and West, some of it seductive, some of it like listening to 50 minicab radios all at once.

I especially liked Muzeyyen Senar, a feisty 86-year-old woman who warbles like a cross between Bette Midler and Gloria Swanson, and shows every sign of living forever. This film could even do for Istanbul what The Buena Vista Social Club did for Havana.