Aurora Mardiganian, a young and beautiful Armenian girl, lives with her parents in the Turkish city of Havpoul. Her father, a prosperous merchant, was preparing to send her to the West to ... See full summary »
Anna Q. Nilsson
The iconic "1915 Armenian Genocide" was originally produced in 1980 (digitally restored and re-released in 2010) is based on the eyewitness accounts of four survivors whose compelling story... See full summary »
A US Senator's son (Jaime Kennedy) who attempts to forget the break up of his fiancée, is forced to vacation in Turkey by his best friends. A para-sailing trip mishap lands him in a small ... See full summary »
Internationally known director Carla Garapedian follows the rock band System of a Down as they tour Europe and the US pointing out the horrors of modern genocide that began in Armenia in 1915 up though Darfur today.
In 1915 a genocide happened in the Ottoman Empire and about 1.5 million Armenians were systematically murdered by the government of the Young Turks. This is a movie about the life of a ... See full summary »
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
Director and screenwriter Fatih Akin is a German citizen of Turkish descent. Screenwriter Mardik Martin is an American citizen of Armenian descent. The Cut (2014) represents the first collaboration between an Armenian and a Turkish screenwriter on a feature film about the Armenian Genocide in film history. See more »
Much better than it's critical reception, if not without flaws
I'm a little confused by the cool critical reception this received on release in the U.S.. Yes, it's uneven at times, and it's slightly distanced emotionally for an epic historical melodrama about one of the terrible genocides of the 20th century. Yes, it occasionally traffics in clichés, and there are some clunky lines and awkward moments of dubbing.
But that is more than offset by spectacular photography, tremendously affecting scenes of horror, loss, sadness, hope, anachronistic but extremely effective music, and an intelligent attempt to deal with not only the Armenian genocide, but what it means to be a refugee, the nature of silence, the complexity of morality in a morally confusing world, and many other themes that raise it above most of the Hollywood historical melodramas we see, including many that win Oscars and are great successes (many of which also traffic in clichés and have some awkward dialogue). If it's not quite as great as the far more personal and quirky films that are the very best of Akin's work; Head-On, The Edge of Heaven, Crossing the Bridge , it's still a thoughtful and intelligent film by one of the most interesting film-makers in the world today.
It tells the story of an Armenian who is forced to leave his family and perform slave labor after the Ottoman Empire enters the first world war, and follows him into ever worse layers of personal hell. Rather than trying to capture the scope of the genocide all around him, for a long while we get only hints and glimpses of the horrible larger truth, seeing only those things our character does. It's an intimate experience of genocide. The second act of the film, once the war is over, is our hero's long and winding journey to try and find what might be left of his family. Not the first time such a subject has been dealt with on film, but this does it with an off-beat and almost dreamlike tone, and a meditative pace. I found myself thinking of filmmakers like Lisandro Alonso as much as Steven Spielberg. It's a strong and worthwhile cross between art-house and old school epic melodrama. If you are willing to forgive the occasional lapse, it's very worth seeing.
A note of caution: The German blu-ray, while great looking, does not have English subtitles. The film is largely, but not completely in English (English stands in for Armenian), but some crucial scenes are in Turkish or Arabic, with no translations offered - a real problem. On the other hand, the US DVD has the film mostly dubbed into Armenian (which Akin approves of), and completely subtitled in English, which, strangely was more effective in some ways than the English track (and I usually HATE dubbing). But in this case many of the supporting actors clearly are not native English speakers, and the performances get very stiff and off-putting for it at times. When I saw the film a second time, in the Armenian dub with all English subtitles, it actually helped a lot of those performances flow better, and I found the film a more affecting experience overall. However, I wish there was a release that offered both the original English track with subtitles for all other languages (which doesn't seem to exist), AND the Armenian dubbed track with English titles, as on the US DVD. And while I'm at it, I'd like all that on a blu-ray, since this is a beautifully shot film. Sigh...
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this