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Heaven (2002 film)

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Title: Heaven (2002 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tom Tykwer, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Run Lola Run, Stefania Rocca, Cate Blanchett
Collection: 2000S Drama Films, 2000S Thriller Films, 2002 Films, American Crime Films, American Films, American Romantic Drama Films, American Thriller Films, British Crime Drama Films, British Films, British Romantic Drama Films, British Thriller Films, English-Language Films, Films About Terrorism, Films Directed by Tom Tykwer, Films Set in Turin, French Crime Films, French Drama Films, French Films, French Thriller Films, German Crime Films, German Drama Films, German Films, German Romance Films, German Thriller Films, Italian-Language Films, Miramax Films, Romantic Thriller Films, Screenplays by Krzysztof Kieślowski, Screenplays by Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Heaven (2002 film)

Directed by Tom Tykwer
Produced by
Written by
Cinematography Frank Griebe
Edited by Mathilde Bonnefoy
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • February 6, 2002 (2002-02-06) (Berlinale)
  • August 9, 2002 (2002-08-09) (United Kingdom)
  • October 4, 2002 (2002-10-04) (U.S.)
Running time
96 minutes
  • Germany
  • France
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $784,399[1]

Heaven is a 2002 romantic thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer, starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi. Co-screenwriter Krzysztof Kieślowski intended for it to be the first part of a trilogy (the second being Hell and the third titled Purgatory), but Kieślowski died before he could complete the project. The film is an international co-production among producers based in Germany, France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The dialogue is in Italian and English.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Critical reception 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The film is set in Turin, Italy. It opens with a prologue sequence showing the young Italian Carabinieri clerk Filippo (Ribisi) learning to fly a helicopter using a flight simulator. When he accidentally crashes the virtual helicopter by ascending too dramatically, his instructor tells him, "In a real helicopter, you can't just keep going up and up," prompting Filippo to ask, "How high can i fly?"

The film then cuts to Phillipa (Blanchett), who is preparing to plant a bomb in the downtown office of a high-ranking businessman. Although everything goes according to her plan, the garbage bin in which she places the bomb is emptied by a cleaner immediately after she leaves and later explodes in an elevator, killing four people.

Philippa is tracked down by the Carabinieri, arrested, and brought to the station where Filippo works. When she is questioned, she reveals that she is an English teacher at a local school where several students have recently died of drug-related causes. Discovering that they had all been supplied by the same local cartel, she had contacted the Carabinieri with the names of the drug ring leaders, begging them to intervene, but was repeatedly ignored.

At her wits' end, she decided to kill the leader of the cartel, the businessman whose office she targeted. In the process of her interrogation, Filippo (who is translating her confession for his superiors) falls in love with Philippa and helps her escape from Carabinieri custody. After she kills the drug lord who was her original target, the pair become fugitives from the law and flee to the countryside, where they eventually find refuge with one of Philippa's friends and finally consummate their relationship.

When the authorities raid the house where they are hiding, the fugitives steal a Carabinieri helicopter parked on the front lawn and escape by air. The officers on the ground fire repeatedly at them, to no avail, as the craft climbs higher and higher and finally disappears.


Critical reception

Heaven received generally positive reviews from critics. On review aggregator website [2] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 68 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[3]

Though comparisons abound to Kieślowski's earlier films, Roger Ebert also saw a similarity to Tykwer's Run Lola Run and The Princess and the Warrior. Though Heaven is "more thoughtful, proceeds more deliberately, than the mercurial haste" of Tykwer's films, "it contains the same sort of defiant romanticism, in which a courageous woman tries to alter her fate by sheer willpower."[4]


  1. ^ "Heaven (2002)".  
  2. ^ "Heaven".  
  3. ^ "Heaven Reviews".  
  4. ^ Roger Ebert (October 18, 2002). "Heaven". Retrieved February 2, 2015. 

External links

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