The Cut: A film about the evil in mankind
by Birgit Heidsiek
- German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, recently honoured by the Filmfest Hamburg with the Douglas Sirk Prize, is presenting the world premiere of The Cut in competition at Venice this year
With his new drama The Cut [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Tahar Rahim
film profile], German-Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin completes his trilogy on “Love, Death and the Devil”. While his Berlinale Golden Bear winner Head-on [+see also:
film profile] was about a young German-Turkish woman’s strong desire to live, The Edge of Heaven [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Klaus Maeck
film profile] told the stories of six people whose paths never crossed. The Cut deals with the “devil”, and is about the evil in mankind and how we hurt people unwittingly or even wilfully because there is often a thin line between good and evil. “The Cut has become a very personal film,” stated Akin, “which grapples content-wise with my conscience and formally with my love of cinema.”
The Cut is not only an epic drama, but also an adventure film and a western. Although the film takes place 100 years ago, it is also relevant to more modern times because it recounts tales of war and forced migration. But the story is also about the power of love and a hope that allows us to achieve something inconceivable. “Tahar doesn’t say a word throughout the film,” explained Akin in an interview with Cineuropa. “He is a bit like Charlie Chaplin, but at the same time, he is a typical western character, like Sergio Leone.”
The story takes place in the Turkish village of Mardin in 1915: one night, as the Turkish Gendarmerie is rounding up all the Armenian men, the young blacksmith Nazaret Manoogian (Tahar Rahim) is separated from his family. After he succeeds in surviving the horror of the genocide, years later he receives the news that his twin daughters are also alive. Obsessed by the thought of finding them, he follows the trail that he hopes will lead him to them. This takes him from the deserts of Mesopotamia, through Havana, to the desert prairies of North Dakota. During this odyssey he meets a whole range of different people, including very gracious characters but also the devil in human form.
After the filmmaker withdrew his movie from the Cannes International Film Festival this spring, The Cut will celebrate its world premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The Filmfest Hamburg is honouring the Hamburg-based writer/director/producer with the prestigious Douglas Sirk Prize. “Fatih Akin’s films, which are very strongly rooted in Hamburg, put the city on the world map of cinema,” comments Albert Wiederspiel, director of Filmfest Hamburg. “He is a role model for an entire generation of filmmakers, not only in Turkey, but also in Germany, where German-Turkish directors created something akin to their own ‘school’.” The Cut was produced as a co-production between Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Canada and Turkey. The Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein provided major production support. Pandora Film is set to release the film in Germany on 16 October.