This film is based on the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire 1915, which resulted in the forced migration and diaspora of the Armenian minority. One day a young family man, Nazaret Manoogian, gets deported by the Turkish authorities together with all the other Armenian men from his native village of Mardin. He becomes a forced laborer and only survives the mass murder by chance and an act of kindness, but loses his family, speech and faith. One night the devastated Nazaret learns that his daughters may still be alive and didn't die like his wife from starvation, violence or rape on death marches. Nazaret goes on a quest to find them and travels from his small village through the Mesopotamian deserts to the sea, always looking for clues that might lead him to his children. Nazaret's epic journey will take him from Asia to America, from the end to a new beginning...Written by
Fatih Akin dedicated The Cut (2014) to the Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink (September 15, 1954 - January 19, 2007) referring to him as his "teacher" in the film's end credits. Dink was a prominent member of the Armenian minority in Turkey and editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. He was best known for advocating Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and human rights in Turkey. Dink was prosecuted by Turkish law 3 times for "denigrating Turkishness", and received numerous death threats from Turkish nationalists, before he was assassinated in January 2007 by Ogün Samast, a 17-year old Turkish nationalist, in Istanbul. This murder happened shortly after the premiere of the documentary Screamers (2006), in which Dink is interviewed about the Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the case against him under Article 301. While Ogün Samast has been taken into custody, photographs of the assassin next to smiling Turkish police members, posing with the murderer in front of the Turkish flag, have since surfaced. The photos created a scandal in Turkey, prompting investigations and the removal from office of those involved. At the funeral of Hrant Dink 200.000 mourners marched in protest of his assassination, chanting "We are all Armenians" and "We are all Hrant Dink". Criticism of Article 301 became vocal after his death, leading to parliamentary proposals for repeal. The 2007-2008 academic year at the 'College of Europe' in Belgium was named in Dink's honour. See more »
Traditional Armenian song from Van region, Author and Composer unknown
Janoy Choir: Gao Long, Kei Kondo, Harika Koroyasu, Radu Pustiu, Kazuki Sakai, Knut Schoch
A cappella by Arevik Martirosyan
All other vocals by Hindi Zahra See more »
A bit slow, difficult to watch but VERY important and worth seeing.
As a retired history teacher, I think I should explain the context for "The Cut". It is set in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The Empire is on its last legs, having lasted for many centuries, it's on the losing side in the war and would soon be broken up into many countries. In the meantime, the ruling Turks had many ethnic groups and religions within the empire. During this time, many Christians there were being persecuted...but none more vigorously than the Armenians. These people were despised by the empire and a horrible genocide was committed. Many of the Armenian men were pressed into the army and then literally worked to death. As for most of the women and children, they were herded into vast concentration camps where they were simply not fed or given water and died in the desert heat. Estimates are that in total between 800,000 and 1,500,000 Armenians died during this short period...and the remainder who managed to escape became exiles living abroad. Oddly, while most everyone throughout the world acknowledges that this occurred, still today Turkey denies that this occurred and many of its allies are unwilling to publicly mention it. In light of all this, the collaborative team of Faith Akin (Director and co- writer) and Mardik Martin (co-writer) is quite unusual. Faith is a German of Turkish descent and Mardik is an Armenian-American--a very unlikely pair working to expose the truth.
The film begins with Armenian men being pressed into work gangs by the army. Their work is back-breaking and soon you see them die one by one. When they don't die quick enough, the officer in charge orders his men to slit the throats of all the Armenians--no use wasting bullets on them. One of the men forced to kill has a conscience and has a hard time getting himself to kill one of the prisoners. At gunpoint, he finally stabs the man in the throat...but it isn't fatal and the soldiers assume the Armenian is dead. However, Nazaret is only gravely wounded and eventually the man who stabbed him returns to help him escape. Unfortunately, Nazaret is left mute--unable to talk because of the wound. Throughout the rest of the film, Nazaret slowly searches for his family and his journey takes him from Turkey to the Middle East to Cuba and eventually to the Dakotas in the United States! Is he able to find any of his family or were they simply liquidated like most of his people?
This is a very well made and, at times, extremely unpleasant movie. This is not a complaint. After all, you cannot make genocide a happy thing and, like Schindler's List, it's often rather depressing and harrowing. This is certainly not a film for children--they can always watch it when they're older and if you do let them see it, by all means watch it with them. Once you get through the sad and awful parts in the first part of the film, you'll find that it's a bit easier to watch. My only reason for not scoring it a bit higher is because of two minor problems. First, you can tell that the film was made on a limited budget and many of the scenes should have been much larger in scope and had more actors, didn't. As examples, the death camp scene and the portion with the army forcing the Armenians to work themselves to death only had a tiny number of actors--only a few dozen at most. Additionally, at times the film is a bit slow-- particularly during the second half. Neither of these things, however, are serious problems and the film is worth seeing and as well as finely crafted. Excellent direction and a sprawling, epic quality, along with an important subject matter, make this a truly memorable viewing experience.
17 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this