The Cut

2014

A German citizen of Turkish descent, writer-director Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven, Soul Kitchen) tears the scab off Turkey's biggest wound with this moving epic of a family nearly destroyed by the Armenian genocide. Similar to Roman Polanski's Holocaust drama The Pianist, it's the grueling odyssey of a simple man just trying to survive. During World War I, an Armenian blacksmith (Tahar Rahim of A Prophet) gets dragooned by the Ottoman army to work on a road crew and narrowly escapes being massacred out in the desert. Arriving at a piteous refugee camp, he learns that his entire family has been slaughtered except for his twin daughters, and after the war he sets out on a circuitous journey to Lebanon, Cuba, and finally the U.S. to locate them. Akin has mischievously called the movie a western, and his wide-screen photography gives a sweeping sense of the vast distances separating the hero from his girls. In Armenian, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, and Spanish with subtitles.

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