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A Q&A with Fatih Akin at the Goethe Institute in Athens
26 February 2015
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A day after the Greek premiere of the much anticipated The Cut and the discussion with the audience that followed, filmmaker Fatih Akin got engaged into a Q&A, this time with the press, and the audience as well, on Wednesday morning at the Goethe Insitute in Athens, just before the sceening of Head On and The Edge of Heaven, the first two parts of his ΄Love, Death and the Devil΄ trilogy.

Sitting beside him, Mr. Zinos Panagiotidis, an old friend of Akin, from Rosebud.21 (previously named Rosebud), the distribution company that brings the German filmmaker΄s films in Greece throughout the years. Akin named Soul Kitchen΄s protagonist Zinos to honor this friendship, which, in a way, is extented beyond them, adding to the popularity his works enjoy in Greece.

Fatih Akin and Zinos Panagiotidis at the Goethe Institute of Athens

Raised in a Turkish family in Hamburg, Akin confessed that he has a natural tendence on supporting minorities of any kind. "I grew up in an Alawite enviroment, a minority into Sunni Turkish Islam. There I met Che Guevera, while my father was a Grey Wolf nationalist [...] When some of these nationalists saw The Cut, they started questioning their believes". The Cut evolves at the times of the Armenian genocide by the Neoturks by telling the story of a survived father looking for his lost doughters throughout the years. "The audience got envolved in the film, which cannot be manupilated, as The Edge of Heaven was by the Turkish Right because they saw it as a critique against the Turkish Left by a German-Turkish Leftist [...] the Turkish Left is dogmatic, very similar to Islam" he commented.

Talking about his country of origin and the current politics, Akin was quite clear: "Turkey has its own intellectuals and Leftists and they can speak about social and minorities issues. Personally I want to deal with defending democracy in Germany [...] I love Turkey but we cannot co-exist anymore [...] today, but only today, I feel Greek. Dont΄t know about tomorrow". 

During the discussion, Akin admitted that The Cut΄s narrative is definently not indicative on his future works. "We travelled thousand of miles in the shooting of the film, under heavy climate, especially in Jordan and Syria [...] I also made my own long research", he said before talking about the gradual transformation of the story into the final -and quite different from his initial thoughts- script. He mentioned the prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and his assasination, which affected the scriptwriting process. "The man was not identifying himself with certain political actions, and that positioned him opposite Turks and Armenians. I wanted to follow his path". Elia Kazan is another personality Akin admires. "I΄ve seen America, America around 50 times. I feel like Kazan΄s artistic grandson". 

One of Akin΄s most interesting comments was on his profile as a political filmmaker. "Each of my films reflects a staus quo which I΄m confronted with at the time making it [...] Cinema has to be an alternative towards any argument or counter-argument, while Politics is thesis-antithesis in the making!". 

The Cut completes Fatih Akin΄s ΄Love, Death, and the Devil΄ trilogy, with Head On (Golden Bear at Berlinale) representing Love and The Edge of Heaven (Best Script and Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes) Death. "It΄s my own trilogy about Turkey".

The Cut΄s official release in Greece is scheduled for March 5.
  The Edge of Heaven
  Soul Kitchen
  The Cut
  Fatih Akin
  Rosebud S.A.
  Heart of Sarajevo for Best Feature Film - 2018
  Fatih Akin and Yesim Ustaoglu support Turkey protests.
  altcine Explore movies by Country People To read
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