The Cut (2014 drama film)

The Cut is a 2014 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Fatih Akın. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[1][2] The film is about the life and experiences of a young Armenian by the name of Nazareth Manoogian against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide and its repercussions in different parts of the world.

The Cut
The cut poster.jpg
German film poster
Directed byFatih Akın
Produced byKarim Debbagh
Written byFatih Akın
Mardik Martin
StarringTahar Rahim
CinematographyRainer Klausmann
Release date
  • 31 August 2014 (2014-08-31) (Venice)
  • 18 September 2014 (2014-09-18) (Germany)
Running time
138 minutes


The film starts by showing how life, as a blacksmith, was in the city of Mardin, where Nazareth and his family used to live. Although Nazareth had his suspicions about possible effects of the World War I, and he was considering the possibility of non-Muslim minorities of the Ottoman Empire being conscripted to fight in the army, his family and friends were trying to be optimistic, although they heard stories of disappearing men from different villages. One night, Ottoman soldiers came to his door and took him to work for the army at a road construction, which is basically in the middle of an uninhabited area. While he was working there and as time passed by, he and his friends started to notice different groups of passer-by Armenians, under arrest. They even witnessed a rape. At one point, an Ottoman officer came to their camp and asked them if they would accept to convert to Islam. Some did and some did not. The officer and his fellows took the converts and left. Some soldiers and convicts, recruited solely to kill Armenians, arrived the next day to kill the rest. The convict responsible for cutting the throat of Nazareth could not go all the way with it and made only a small cut on his throat, which sufficed to cause Nazareth to faint, thereby survive the massacre. However, while saving his life, the cut also made him mute. This "cut" not only symbolizes Nazareth's becoming mute but also his being cut from his life and family and the Armenian society's silence about the Genocide at the time.

His executioner, who is an Ottoman subject, returned and took Nazareth, with whom later on Nazareth joined a gang composed of former defectors. This gang is mainly formed by Ottoman Turks, based on their clear accent, yet they were willing to take Nazareth with them, which is a sign that the ordinary people did not have any problems and the Genocide was substantially based on political will and motive. While trying to survive with the gang, Nazareth came across to an old customer from Mardin, who told Nazareth that surviving Armenians went to Raʾs al-ʿAin, which became one of several cities Nazareth visited to trace his family. When he concluded that everyone in his family had died, he was devastated and unsure about what to do. At that point, he met a soap maker from Aleppo, called Umair Nasreddin. The soap maker provided refuge to not only Nazareth but also many more Armenians, which can also be interpreted as a metaphor: bystanders to the Genocide cleansing their guilt by helping the surviving victims. It is in Aleppo that Nazareth learned that his daughters might still be alive and set out to find them first in Lebanon, then in Cuba and finally in Ruso, North Dakota, United States.[3]


Critical receptionEdit

Metacritic gave the film a score of 56 out of 100, based on reviews from 7 critics, indicating "Mixed or average reviews".[4]


  1. ^ "International competition of feature films". Venice. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced". Deadline. Retrieved 24 July 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Fatih Akin's Film on 1915 to Premiere at Venice Film Festival". Armenian Weekly. 24 July 2014.
  4. ^ "The Cut". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 January 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit