THE CUT was released in 2014, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of one of history’s worst atrocities, the genocide of the Armenian population of Turkey that was perpetrated during World War One. Followed two years later by the even more elaborate, equally affecting The Promise, it’s one of the handful of movies that mark a grotesque chapter in the human family record, one that Turkey officially denies to this day.
1915. When the Allies go after Germany’s Ottoman Empire ally in the wretchedly botched Gallipoli campaign, the Turks use the war as a pretext cover for unleashing ethnic cleansing on their minority populations. Among the unfortunate is ‘Nazaret Manoogian’ (Tahar Ramin, 33), who is forced into slave labor while his family and community—his entire people—are either slaughtered or scattered to the winds. Grievously wounded, he survives to embark on an epic, years-long, intercontinental journey to try and locate his twin daughters.
Directed by Fatih Akin, who co-wrote with Mardik Martin, the film vaunts an old-fashioned scope surrounding its intimate personal quest, with panoramic vistas of the many locations, extensive period detail and grueling scenes of brutality and famine. Helping Akin produce were 21 assorted international financing sources who put up the $18,272,000 required for mounting sets, extras and costuming in Jordan, Germany, Malta, Cuba and Canada.
With Simon Abkarian, Hindi Zahra, Kevork Malikyan, Bartu Kücükcaglayan, Makram Khouri , Lara Heller and Trine Dyrholm. 138 powerful and moving minutes. It scraped but $28,000 in the U.S.