Posted in: by Robert Horton, Contributors, Film Festivals

Robert Horton’s SIFF 2015 Preview

Beyond Zero: 1914–1918

Fatih Akin (Head-On, Soul Kitchen) is on the short list of the most intriguing 21st-century directors, and his latest effort, The Cut, travels into the realm of historical epic—namely the slaughter of Armenians by Turks during World War I. A Prophet star Tahir Rahim plays a survivor searching for family members. Adding intrigue is that Akin, a German of Turkish heritage, collaborates here with Raging Bull screenwriter Mardik Martin, an American of Armenian heritage. (SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 4 p.m. Mon., May 25 & 9:30 p.m. Wed., June 3)

The Great War remains a deservedly compelling subject during these centenary years, which might bring extra attention to experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison’s Beyond Zero: 1914–1918. Morrison (his Decasia was the first 21st-century film named to the Library of Congress Film Registry) makes hypnotic imagery from decayed film stock, and this 39-minute offering uses original WWI footage that has apparently never been shown. Music by the Kronos Quartet accompanies the images. (SIFF Film Center, 6 p.m. Sat., May 16 & 7 p.m. Sun., May 17)

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