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#61 Yervant1


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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:56 AM

Christian Post

April 21 2017
Armenian Christian Genocide Brought to Big Screen in 'The Promise' Starring Christian Bale (Review)

 Jeannie Law, Christian Post Reporter


"The Promise" hits theaters this weekend and while it features a love story about a journalist (played by A-list actor Christian Bale) who's stuck in a riveting love triangle, what the film is actually about is the 1914 genocide of Armenian Christians.

The Armenian Genocide is "one of the greatest and least known catastrophes of the 20th century," says director and co-writer Terry George (" Hotel Rwanda"). And as a Christian watching the film one can't ignore the strong faith of Armenian Christians portrayed throughout the film.

Beginning with a blessing and ending in a prayer, the film journeys through opportunity, disappointment, love, war, death and victory. With a strong reverence for their faith, those who are being persecuted are seen attending church, sacrificing themselves for others, looking to clergy for shelter and guidance, and ultimately fighting to keep their people alive as they proudly display a cross bearing banner as their representation.

A short synopsis of the film reads: "Medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac) meets beautiful dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) in late 1914. Their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana's boyfriend, Christopher (Christian Bale), an American photojournalist who's dedicated to exposing the truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred as they join forces to get themselves and their people to safety." 

In the historical drama, Michael survives death multiple times, prompting his family to openly thank "Jesus" for it when he escapes a labor camp. Unfortunately, those around him don't have the same good fortune and one by one they are killed, making the film an emotional roller coaster that you will not want to stop watching.

One of the most climatic part of "The Promise" is when the unlikely pair of allies, Michael and Christopher, encounter the Ottoman massacre of Michael's entire village. That eventually leads them to join a group of refugees who are determined to fight the Ottoman army.


The movie eventually comes to a positive end, but not before breaking viewers' hearts one last time.

Concluding years after the genocide has ended, the film leaves a sense of uncertainty about whether or not the Armenian people would ever be truly be free from oppression. The main character prays, "Dear Lord, Help us survive these cruel times so we may once again sing your praises."

The film also ends with a powerful poem by William Saroyan.

I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.

"The Promise" will be playing in theaters nationwide on April 21. For more information, click here.

image: http://d.christianpo...the-promise.png

the-promise.png(Photo: Grace Hill Media)In this scene, Michael temporarily manages to avoid conscription in the Turkish army through a medical student exemption with the help of a friend, April 21, 2017.

#62 Yervant1


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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:59 AM

Church Militant
April 21 2017
New Film on Armenian Genocide Strikes the Right Balance
by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 21, 2017                                     "Ottoman Turks resorted to the time-tested methods of firing squads, physical labor, starvation, dehydration and disease"

By Bruce Walker

Go see The Promise, a movie opening nationwide Friday. Hollywood has mostly ignored the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks during World War I, and subsequently pursued by the Turkish Republic. At last we have a film like The Promise, which focuses on the Armenian experience, but also the Greeks and Assyrians who were brutally victimized.


A Turkish official taunting starving Armenian children with a piece of bread

There is no uglier word in any language than genocide, which is perhaps why the word is used so sparingly. Both denotatively and connotatively the word conjures up the worst crimes against humanity — the attempted eradication of entire races, nationalities or religions. Men, women, children. To utter the word is to open the most horrific casebook against the entirety of the human race and rocks the very foundations of our divinely designed hearts and souls.

However, hesitancy to use the word in question does us no favors. Neither does splitting hairs over whether the definition applies to one mass slaughter but not another. Whether narrowly or broadly applied, genocide is still genocide, and has happened with alarming frequency these past 100-some years. The term itself was coined in 1943 to designate the Armenian Genocide, which began in 1915. Generally acknowledged as the first genocide of the past century, the Armenian genocide claimed an estimated 1.5 million Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians who were systematically rounded up by the Ottoman Turks.

Ironically, while the World War I era witnessed new technological achievements in the mass slaughter of human beings on the battlefield, the Ottoman Turks resorted to the time-tested methods of firing squads, physical labor, starvation, dehydration and disease while introducing relatively new concepts in genocide: the concentration camp as well as exposure to germs and gases. The elderly, women and children who avoided immediate execution and camps were subjected barbarically to death marches through the Syrian desert (chillingly recounted in British rocker Julian Cope's song "The Armenian Genocide"). Those who survived often were sold into sexual slavery. Churches and historical monuments were destroyed.

Armenian_Genocide.jpgHow best to educate en masse these historical atrocities? It never seems adequate to recite merely dates and the numbers and ages of victims. Yet the urge to express such horrors often resonates with authorial hubris. "Show, don't tell" is a maxim for effective writing, but the effort to depict the violence and indifference to human suffering can seem calculated — in Hamlet’s words — to out-Herod Herod. Unless the writer is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Elie Wiesel or other luminaries occupying the sparsely populated literary pantheon of scribes able to gut-wrenchingly depict mass cruelties, the temptation to equal or outdo their efforts invariably yields disappointing results.

Too often, as well, some attempts serve to desensitize the reader to the true magnitude of despicable human behavior by focusing too much on sadistic and sinister actions. It's far easier to convey physical anguish than it is to render mental torture. The same theory applies equally to the visual arts as it does literature. For example, many cinematic portrayals of 20th-century inhumanities could easily be stripped of their Nazi trappings and such, and wind up as generic entries in a torture-porn franchise such as the Saw series.

Armenian_children.jpgThis, finally, brings your writer to the topic at hand — an endorsement of the new film The Promise, which avoids the pitfalls outlined above in admirable fashion. All prior reservations about viewing a film centered upon genocide were put to rest when it was revealed the movie is more about how the historical events affected the families and romantic relationships of the story's characters. Yes, there is onscreen brutality and (brief) scenes featuring piles of discarded bodies — but such scenes are given a verite rather than a sensationalist treatment that contribute to the narrative rather than disturbingly and nauseatingly distract from it. In short, the filmmakers strike the right balance, and the $100 million budget ensures superb production values.

Credit for the film's realism devoid of over-the-top graphic depictions is due in large part to the direction of Terry George, who cut his teeth on such films as Jim Sheridan's The Boxer and the Bruce Willis film Hart's War before writing and directing Hotel Rwanda, which details a more recent incident of genocide and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. George directed from a compelling script he co-wrote with Robin Swicord. The lush cinematography was provided by Javier Aguirresarobe.

Armenian_Genocide_3.jpgArmenian mother forced to march carrying her child. 

The Promise stars A-list actors Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, as well as international thespians Charlotte Le Bon, Jean Reno and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Isaac portrays Michael Boghosian, a Turkish Armenian who stakes a portion of his fiancée's dowry pursuing a medical degree in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul). Through his Turkish classmate, the son of an Ottoman general, Boghosian meets the American photojournalist Chris Myers (Bale), having already met and become smitten with Myers' radiant female companion (Le Bon). Their ensuing love triangle is one emotional thread that weaves together the historical events of the film, echoing both the novel and film Doctor Zhivago, another love triangle set against a tumultuous historical backdrop. Another thread is Boghosian's tight-knit family and their shared Christian devotion.

The Promise's compacted storytelling betrays the film's epic ambitions, which in another context would appear to be a negative assessment. On the contrary, one measure of art's quality is the recipient's desire for more than is delivered and, such is the richness of the story's tapestry and the fullness of even the most minor characters, this is a high compliment indeed. In fact, the film's running length underscores the tragedy of the massive number of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian lives abbreviated horrifically during the first genocide of the modern era. The Promise is highly recommended.

Bruce Edward Walker has more than 30 years' writing and editing experience in a variety of publishing areas, and has served as an adjunct professor of literature and academic writing at University of Detroit Mercy. He authors a weekly column for the mid-Michigan Morning Sun newspaper. Walker holds a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University. 


#63 Yervant1


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Posted 23 April 2017 - 09:14 AM

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#64 Yervant1


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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:56 AM

 The Times of Israel
March 23 2017
Our Obligation to See ‘The Promise’
by Simon Hardy Butler
Piles of dead bodies. Men, women and children stuffed into boxcars. Forced slave labor.


Does any of this sound familiar?

If, on Yom HaShoah, these records of villainy hit close to home, then we, as Jews, should also remember another genocide that included these horrors yet preceded our own: that of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish regime starting in 1915.

The great film The Promise, now in theaters, highlights all of these occurrences from that era.

I just saw it last night in Manhattan, at a big theater more often known for blockbusters and crowd-pleasing entertainment. But The Promise is no such film; it had a large budget, for sure, and is important in that it is the first mainstream Hollywood film to call attention to the Armenian genocide, yet there’s more to it than that. It’s extraordinarily moving. It has scenes that are unforgettable: atrocities beyond scope, humanity beyond reason. It is powerful. It is essential.

All of my fellow brothers and sisters in the Jewish faith should watch it.

We say: “Never again.” And “never again” is what we should adhere to. Still, that mantra didn’t exist in its present form when Armenians were being massacred by Ottoman Turks, when they were being removed from their homes, when their villages were decimated, when their children were murdered.

We say: “Never again.” We must mean it.

To do so, we must understand all genocides, all holocausts, anti-Semitic and otherwise. The Armenian one is particularly crucial, as it took place only a few decades before our own and extinguished 1.5 million Armenian lives. There is no place for such villainy in the world. We cannot just say that, however. We must exemplify it.

So we must educate ourselves further on the subject. We must watch films such as The Promise to make sure we never forget. It is not only a work of art, but it is also a teaching tool. Like Schindler’s List, another cinematic masterpiece. In many ways, The Promise is very similar. It has a terrific score, by Gabriel Yared. It has brilliant performances, especially by Oscar Isaac, who will touch your heart in the picture like few will. It has superb cinematography, editing, production design. It has fearless direction. It even must be subject to the minor quibbles I had with Schindler’s List … that it didn’t show the full, vile extent of the violence and heinous crimes perpetrated by those who orchestrated the genocide. Yet both showed enough. Both made their point well. Both made the terror clear.

That’s why both are critical movies in the history of the silver screen. That’s why both will live forever.

As with Schindler’s ListThe Promise is hardly one-dimensional. It is not didactic. Characters are fully developed. Heroes exist on both sides … including Henry Morgenthau, Sr., the Jewish-American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, whose portrayal during a scene with a government official might bring you to tears. On this day of remembrance, the people who fought for justice need to have their names recognized. We, as a people, should know why we do this. We, as a people, should be able to see the import.

I urge every Jewish man and woman who can to see The Promise. I do it with a warning: You may be upset. You may cry. Yet I do it also with the reminder that watching this film ensures a better world for us and all who surround us. It makes us better people. It makes us better rememberers.

Surely, not all memories are the same. The exceptional ones, however, must never be forgotten.

The Promise makes sure of that. We must do so as well.


#65 Yervant1


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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:08 AM

Ninety percent of tickets of “The Promise” sold out
  • 16:47 | April 27,2017 | Social
  • Հայ

The screening of Hollywood “The Promise” movie, which tells about the Armenian Genocide, has kicked off in the cinemas of Yerevan. As Gohar Nalbandyan, Head of Marketing Department of “Cinema Star”, told “A1+” 60 percent of tickets of the screening at 10:30 has sold out. 90 percent of tickets for evening screening of the movie have already sold out. What’s more people are interested both in Armenian, Russian and English screenings of the movie. “Manly Hollywood movies arise such interest, but it is unprecedented that such a flow stats from early in the morning. Usually the audience visit cinemas in the evening.”

The information department of Moscow Cinema also informed that almost all the tickets for “The Promise” have sold out. “We thought that there would be less interest in English screening of the movie, but the people are much interested also in that screening.”

“The Promise” movie was created with the financial support of American-Armenian billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. The world premiere was held on April 21. The screening in Russia will also kick off on April 27.



#66 Yervant1


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Posted 28 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

Front Page Magazine
April 26 2017
Defy PC Suppression and See 'The Promise'
A moving, epic, sumptuous film on the suppressed topic of the Armenian genocide.
April 26, 2017
 Powerful people are deploying every trick to prevent you from seeing The Promise, director Terry George's 2016 film starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon. Their insistence that you not see the film rouses suspicion. After all, Terry George is a something of a cinematic social justice warrior and critical darling. He's known for taking on righteous themes, including the English imperial abuse of Irish prisoners in his 1993 film In the Name of the Father, nominated for seven Academy Awards. His 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda, received three Academy Award nominations. The Promise's script is by George and Robin Swicord, who also has an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nomination under her belt. 

George's Hotel Rwanda depicted the Rwandan genocide. Rwandans died in that signature African phenomenon: tribal violence. Hutus rose up with machetes and murdered their neighboring Tutsis in the world's fastest genocide. Hotel Rwanda tells a different story. Rwandans died because white people don't care about black people. In the film, Nick Nolte, playing a UN general, "explains" the genocide to Don Cheadle, playing the real-life hero and rescuer Paul Rusesabagina. "You're dirt. We think you are dirt. You're dung. You're worthless. You're black. You're not even a n - - - - -. You're an African … They're not gonna stop the slaughter." 

Hotel Rwanda never explains how white people living thousands of miles away could stop a million killings-by-machete occurring over a hundred days. Rwanda is remote, landlocked, and mountainous. There were no airports, train tracks, or installations to bomb. Getting troops into Rwanda would have taken months and given the volatility of the area, the insertion of American or European troops would have sparked separate conflagrations. Witness the horrific fate of the humanitarian mission in the Battle of Mogadishu in October, 1993 – a mere six months before the Rwandan genocide. No matter. It's whitie's fault. That movie, the powers that be want you to see. 

The powers that be don't want you to see The Promise, though it stars Oscar Isaac, previously praised for the box office smash, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the critical smash Inside Llewyn Davis, by the hipster Coen BrothersWhat, then, is the problem with The Promise and why don't powerful people want you to see it? 

The Promise dramatizes the 1915-1923 Armenian Genocide. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were murdered by Ottoman Turkey and its successor, the Republic of Turkey. 

The victims of the Armenian genocide were Christians. The perpetrators were Muslims. 

Armenians are not just any Christians. They are an indigenous Middle Eastern people. They have lived on their land, as recognizable, autonomous Armenians, for over two thousand years. In 301 AD, Armenians were the first to adopt Christianity as their state religion. The Edict of Thessalonica did not make Christianity Rome's state religion until 380 AD. Etchmiadzin Cathedral, whose construction began the year Armenians adopted Christianity, is the oldest cathedral in the world. Armenians began fighting jihadi invaders over a thousand years ago, significantly at the 1071 Battle of Manzikert. In 1400 Tamerlane, the Sword of Islam, buried 4000 Armenians alive. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia supported the Crusades. That's right – indigenous people of the Middle East supported the Crusaders against jihadis. Theirs is a narrative that will rankle any number of powerful opinion-makers. 

The first notorious genocide of the bloody twentieth century was not Hitler's. It was the Turks'. Hitler was quite impressed with how the Turks got away with years of expulsions, selective assassinations, starvation and literal, not metaphoric, crucifixions. In an August, 1939 speech, just days before beginning his assault on Poland that would spark World War II, Hitler uttered his notorious "Armenian quote." "I have placed my death-head formation in readiness … with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language … Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" 

I am Polish, and thanks to this quote, I feel myself to be an honorary Armenian. Playwright William Saroyan produced an "Armenian quote" of his own, saluting a "small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled … and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia … Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia." With this quote, Saroyan is an honorary Pole. 

The Armenians' would-be annihilators are also part of the reason that one must not speak of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey is part of NATO. Turkey hosts the Incirlik Air Base. Those are reasons why US presidents may refrain from using the word "genocide" and, as John Oliver put it, resort to diplomatic doublespeak in phrases like, "Armenia's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." 

The politically correct don't use the same thesaurus as US presidents. Let's spell out their concern. In the first notorious genocide of the Twentieth Century, Muslims murdered Christians. Further: Muslims murdering Christians and taking over their territory was not an aberration. These murders were not committed in disobedience to scripture or tradition or even trends. The Turkish genocide against Armenian Christians was in accordance with scripturetradition, and trends. These traditions began with Mohammed himself, who ordered the expulsion of Arab Christians and Jews from the Arabian Peninsula. Arabs who vacillated in their commitment to Islam were brought to heel in the Ridda Wars. For the past 1400 years, the Middle East's Christian populations have been shrinking. The Armenian Genocide is not an isolated event. It's part of a chain of events we are not to be aware of or discuss. 

Politically correct opinion-makers don't want you to know that Christianity began in the Middle East. They want you to think of the fault line between terror and its victims as a line between dispossessed, swarthy, colonized, Third World peasants practicing their "indigenous" religion and Christianity, the tip of the colonizers' spear. They want you to think that some very pale person named Smith or Jones marched into the Middle East with a Bible and under the color of a colonizer's flag. It astounds me but it's true – semester after semester I ask university students to plot on a timeline the founding dates of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Most of them think that Islam was founded first, and Judaism and Christianity somehow branched off. Really. Really. 

This politically correct narrative is nonsense. By PC's standards, the first Christians were swarthy, colonized, peasants in the Middle East. Swarthy Middle Eastern peasants were the first victims of jihad, and the first to fight back against jihad. Muslims were the colonizers. Some populations have been fighting continuously for over a thousand years. They've been saying mass, erecting crosses, and surviving in Egypt, Iraq, and Armenia. Their numbers, and their territory, grow smaller year after year. Asking why those borders and demographics shrink is an awkward question for the politically correct. 

Take Egypt in the fourteenth century. Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, had a majority-Christian population long after the Arab Conquest. Persecution reduced their number. Christians were freely robbed, murdered, their churches were closed, and Muslim sermons demanded hostility to them. At times Christians had to wear a five-pound cross. At other times, in other places, Christians had to wear a patch on their clothing in the shape of a pig; Jews had to wear a donkey-shaped patch, or bells. Historians cite these patches as precursors to the patches Nazis forced their victims to wear. Christians could save their lives by converting to Islam, but even then they were forced to prove the sincerity of their conversions by attending mosque. They could not will their money to any Christian relatives – only those relatives who converted to Islam could inherit. Those lines around Christian territory, those tallies of Christian populations, didn't shrink because someone read a pamphlet, compared and contrasted the theological claims of each faith, and made a decision out of his free conscience. Populations shrank because of persecution. Those persecutions interfere with politically correct history. 


Assyrian Christians speak a variety of Aramaic, a Middle Eastern language that predates Arabic. Copts' liturgical language is late stage Egyptian. Egyptian has the longest documented history of any language and predates Arabic in Egypt by thousands of years. The mere existence of Armenians, Copts, and Assyrian Christians poses an awkward question for Middle Eastern Muslims. A group of Middle Eastern Christians ask, on their website, "Why were you born in Islam?" Your ancestors were not Muslims, this website insists. They converted to Islam. Why? Is it because of the kind of pressure Islam brought to bear on the Armenians? Muslims, if you watch a film like The Promise, do you imagine that this is what it was like for your non-Muslim ancestors? Do these persecutions, dramatized onscreen, provide a missing link in your family tree? I think it would be impossible for a Muslim to reflect on how Muslims pressured non-Muslims to convert or die and not to think about his or her ancestors. When did the ancestors cave in, and what did it take for them to leave their natal faith? A massacre? Oppressive taxation? The violation of female family members? Or was it a promise of wealth if they joined in the looting? These are uncomfortable questions. 

And those persecutions raise even more awkward questions. If this is what jihad has done to Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian populations in the Middle East, what will it do to us? The Byzantine Empire and states like Armenia once felt as secure in their Christianity as American Christians might feel today. Do we, as they did, have a target on our backs? Are our civilizational timelines, as were theirs, shrinking? 

Now you know why powerful people don't want you to see The Promise. Why 57,000 people flooded the International Movie Database to give the film one-star ratings long before it even opened. 

University of Haifa Professor Stefan Ihrig is the author of Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to HitlerIhrig insists that the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust are connected, and one cannot understand one without the other. But even publishing on the Armenians has cost Ihrig. Writing in Forbes, Ihrig reports: "Speaking out on the Armenian Genocide means taking a huge risk. At the very least, it will be an exhausting experience, getting harassed online, trolled, threatened, down-rated on Amazon and publicly vilified. Until now, this was true mainly for individuals – academics, artists and activists. Now, it seems to apply to Hollywood movies, too."

The Promise has a low rating at the review aggregate site, RottenTomatoes. Oscar Isaac's Coen Brothers' film Inside Llewyn Davis has a 94%, certified fresh rating. Hotel Rwanda, Terry George's previous genocide film, has a certified fresh 90% rating. Hmm. 

I am a diehard movie fan. As such I place aesthetics above message. I am here to tell you that The Promise is a darn good movie. It's not a great movie. When it comes to genocide movies, it's not Schindler's List, In Darknessor Europa EuropaThe Promise just misses being a great movie. It moves too fast. The film should have lingered more, let us get closer to its characters. There is a scene where a man admires a woman's sketch book. That scene should have showed us more of her sketches. There should have been at least one paragraph more explaining the genocide to the audience. Armenians were Christians in a majority-Muslim state. They were a middleman minority – often better educated and wealthier than their neighbors. Turkey was fighting a war, and feared Russia, a neighboring, Christian nation, and its outreach to Armenians. Christians in a Muslim-majority state were accused of divided loyalty. The film could have benefitted from a deeper explication of these factors. But The Promise is a very good movie, and for that reason, not for any political message, you should see it. 

Oscar Isaac's performance as Mikael, an Armenian medical student, is mesmerizing. Had this been a film about a more PC-friendly genocide, Isaac would receive an Academy Award nomination, and possibly win. His presence is the soul of the movie. His performance may as well have been wordless. He is all eyes as he takes in, in the opening scenes, his beloved natal village, then Constantinople, the big city he must travel to to study medicine, his heart-stopping first encounter with the woman he, in spite of himself, loves, and, finally, the evisceration, torture, and fight-to-the-death of his beloved people. He is the blank slate on which history writes. He is so pure that the world's darkness splatters across his features as ink titrated from human tears and the black ashes of Hell. 

Christian Bale is a brilliant actor who is perhaps genetically incapable of making a bad move onscreen. To his smaller role as an American reporter covering the genocide, Bale brings all of his craft. He can and does communicate pages of unspoken soliloquy into a couple of understated gestures. As part of a triangle involving Isaac, Bale must communicate a love that is consuming, possessive, and that supports great sacrifice. Bale inhabits his role so thoroughly he wrung tears from this viewer. 

Charlotte Le Bon is the lovely love interest, an Armenian who was raised in France and picks a very bad time to explore her roots. The supporting cast consists of world-class actors. Jean Reno, Tom Hollander, Shohreh Aghdashloo, James Cromwell, Rade Serbedzija and Marwan Kenzari command the screen in small, vital roles. 

The Promise has been called the most expensive independently financed film. Kirk Kerkorian, an Armenian-American businessman, provided funding for a film that politics would have liked to suppress. Kerkorian was born in Fresno in 1917, as the genocide was taking place. He died at 98 years old, before he could see the completed film. His investment is all over the screen. If you like big, sweeping, sumptuously-produced historical epics, you will love this movie. I would like to watch it again on video just to freeze the frame and linger over the set and costume details. The Promise was shot in Spain, Portugal, and Malta, which do manage to look like Turkey. 

Critics have faulted the film for including a love story in a movie that dramatizes a genocide. This criticism is uninformed. Read enough memoirs, and talk to enough survivors. Yes, people do fall in love under the most challenging circumstances. Auschwitz hosted a famous love story. Mala Zimetbaum, a Jewish prisoner, fell in love with Edek Galinski, a Polish one. Their story is legendary and inspired many of their fellow prisoners. Poet John Guzlowski's parents met while his father was on a death march out of Buchenwald. The Nazis marched Guzlowski's father past the camp where his mother was interned. Their marriage lasted for over fifty years. Guzlowski himself was conceived and born in a post-war UN DP camp. 

The Promise is neither an anti-Muslim nor an anti-Turkish film. Perhaps its most poignant performance is that of Tunisian-Dutch Marwan Kenzari as Emre Ogan. Ogan is a pretty, young party boy who just wants to have fun. It's purely an accident of fate that he is a Turk during a genocide. Ogan is a complex, sympathetic, human character. We can identify with his moral quandaries. There are other Muslim Turks in the film who clearly oppose the genocide and support the Armenians. Wikipedia quotes many Turks who, at the time of the genocide and not long after, condemned it. I've been lucky enough to travel to Turkey, and I've loved few destinations more. There is nothing I would like more to see than a new, enlightened Turkey acknowledge the sins of the past, and repent for them. I hope and pray for that day, for the Armenians, for Turkey and the Turks, and for the world. 

One last word. I refer, here, to the Armenian Genocide as part of a trend of jihad's encroachment on, and elimination of, non-Muslim, indigenous populations. Some will insist that the Nazi genocide of the Jews is comparable, and that it proves that Christianity is a genocidal religion. I disagree. Yes, Christians have frequently failed to act according to Christian scripture, none of which command anything like jihad or genocide. Yes, Christians have often persecuted Jews. But, Nazism, not Christianity, was responsible for the Holocaust. For support I defer to books like Richard Weikart's Hitler's ReligionMy review of Weikart's book can be found here. My piece, "Against Identifying Nazism with Christianity" can be found here


#67 Yervant1


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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:35 AM

Daily Record and Sunday Mail
May 3, 2017 Wednesday

Rave review for story of genocide

by Joan McAlpine

I WOULD never have seen The Promise if I had read the reviews. It
didn't get five stars stars from all the critics Some thought the
romantic triangle of Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac
diminished the epic story of the Armenian genocide in Turkey during
World War I. I disagree. The Promise is a must-see film which - in
shocking detail - tells of the forgotten holocaust of a hidden people.

The Turkish Ottoman Empire used the war to scapegoat Christian Armenians.

It is estimated that 1.1million men, women and children were killed.
Some were sent on death marches. Some were packed into railway
carriages. Many were butchered in their villages.

Turkey still does not acknowledge the scale of the genocide. In fact,
they dispute the very word.

But as Edinburgh University expert Professor Donald Bloxham put it,
many in Turkey "enriched themselves with houses, belongings and
businesses of Armenians. They and their heirs had every interest in
covering up the crime".

The romantic story at the centre of The Promise is a classic Hollywood
device. It draws people in. It humanises the history book.

Anything that highlights this crime against humanity and gets it to a
wider audience has to be praised.

The Promise is a brave, beautiful and important film. Go to see it.

#68 Yervant1


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Posted 05 May 2017 - 09:38 AM

Al-AhramWeekly, Egypt
April 27- May 3 2017
A promise to survive
Nora Koloyan-Keuhnelian identified with the message of Terry George’s new film
2017-636293541307153380-715.jpg The Promise

Directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), The Promise received a major marketing push in the past couple of months. This huge production was the longtime dream of the billionaire, 17-year-long owner of MGM studios of Armenian origin, the Las Vegas mogul and philanthropist Kerk Kerkorian. After providing the movie’s massive $100 million budget, Kerkorian, passed away in 2015, before he could see the production.

The Promise, which is one of the most expensive independently financed movies of all time, is a 2016 Hollywood production that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. It has been in theatres around the world since April 21.

The film is a heart-wrenching tale of love, loyalty and survival set against the tragic backdrop of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic plan to exterminate its Armenian minority which, carried out in the period 1915-1922, left over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children dead.

Oscar Isaac, a Guatemalan-American actor plays the role of an Armenian medical student, Mikael Boghossian. Christian Bale, the English Academy Award winner, plays the role of Christopher Myers, the American AP journalist, while Charlotte Le Bon, the Canadian actress plays Ana Kassarian, the Armenian dance instructor and painter who lived most of her life in France but was settled in Constantinople, with whom both men fell in love.

The film opens with the name of Kerkorian’s production company, Survival Pictures; in itself a telling reminder of the forget-me-nots half buried in the sands which, when the wind blows, reveal themselves as the centennial badge commemorating the genocide. The sand and desert symbolise the long marches Armenians were forced to endure during their deportation.

The film opens with a general scene of Siroun village in Southern Turkey where the Boghossian family lived and were the first to bring medicine to its people. Mikael’s first appearance is in the pharmacy where he sells medicine while narrating, “We Christians and Muslims used to live peacefully with each other.”  Christian Armenians, who lived with Muslim Turks for centuries, were driven out not by religion, but by a modern ideology: Nationalism.

Mikael is engaged to a girl from his village, Maral (Angela Sarafian), the only American actress in the film of Armenian origin. Mikael must continue his medical studies in Constantinople but he intends to keep his promise to return to Siroun to marry her. In Constantinople, Mikael stays with his uncle, a textiles trader named Messrob Boghossian, in whose house he also meets Ana, the dance instructor who is the journalist Christopher Myers – Bale’s partner. They fell in love with each other. At the Imperial Medical School, in the meantime, Mikael meets a Turkish colleague, Emrai Ogun. They soon became loyal friends. In the next two scenes the Armenian propensity for talent and hard work is amply demonstrated.

When the teacher asks both Mikael and Emrai to remove parts of a cadaver, only Mikael is able to carry out the request while Emrai, who isn’t very fond of medicine, cannot; Emrai faints when he sees blood. Mikael, who believes in his abilities, having told his father, “I will make you proud papa” before leaving for Constantinople, helps his Turkish colleague to disentangle the cadaver’s spine. Emrai takes to introducing his Armenian colleague as “my friend and mentor”, showing that many Turks perceived Armenians to be better educated and more astute in commerce and trade. At a night club when Ana is invited by a Turkish dancer to accompany her in a belly dancing performance, she proves herself the Turkish dancer’s equal.

When World War I erupts in 1914 while Turkey is allied to Germany, Armenia aligns itself with its neighbour Russia; Armenians are fed up with Turkish mistreatment, especially now that Turkey has declared war on all Christians not allied with it. Medical students are exempted from joining the Turkish military but Armenian students who are also Ottoman citizens are not. Emrai bribes the police officer with a gold coin to prevent his Armenian friend Mikael from joining the Ottoman army, something for which he is punished and later forced to join the army instead of going back to his studies. Emrai hates that, describing the military costume he wears as “ridiculous”. His father, often described by his son as “a fanatic” is the one who, later in the movie, orders the execution of his own son for being a traitor: An example of Turkish brutality of the time.

The director does not omit Gomidas Vartabed, the Armenian priest, musicologist and singer who is considered the father of Armenian music. Gomitas is among the intellectuals arrested on the eve of April 24, 1915 by the Ottomans. In one short scene the priest is seen conducting a mass in which he performs one of his compositions, Kohanamk when violence erupts outside the church. While Turkish gendarmes are firing and destroying Armenian shops, the camera focuses on Gomidas’s candle-lit face, but soon the picture fades and blurs over. Gomidas has stopped singing and composing forever.     

Oscar Isaac gives a masterful performance. When the Turkish gendarmes arrest Mikael among thousands of men for imprisonment and torture at a labour camp on the Thaurus Mountains, he manages to catch a train and escape in heavy rain under the cover of darkness. In this powerful scene he fights to survive the weather conditions and the fatal speed of the train carrying the Armenian slaves who beg him to “open the door, save us, we need water.” While trying to open the door for them he has no choice but to throw himself into the river to be saved.

Mikael is seen kissing the cross around his neck while trying to catch the train, indicating that he still believes in God unlike some others who lost their faith during the genocide. And sure enough God saves Mikael, who reaches Siroun, marries Maral and then goes off to look for Ana and Chris at the Protestant Mission, where he requests help to save his family and take them out of the village. This is the night of the great escape when Armenian orphans were carried out of the mission in a cart in the process of an evacuation prompted by prior warnings of an impending attack.

In the forests Mikael notices the Turkish gendarmes riding his family’s horses. Another powerful, yet sad scene: While hiding, Mikael’s suspicious and fearful expressions indicate that he can guess that his family has already been attacked. Walking down the river he finds a mass of corpses near the shore. As he approaches the bodies, Mikael identifies his family members there, including his pregnant wife Maral, his father, and his mother who is still alive. The way he weeps over the corpses calling their names is truly heartbreaking.

In the meantime the Turkish police have arrested Chris and confiscated the notebook in which he has been documenting all that he is witnessing. At the police headquarters Farouk Pasha investigates Chris’s notes and asks him to confess that his reports are fabrications. Chris refuses and ends up in jail. As a journalist Chris is keen that people outside Turkey should be informed of what the Turks are doing to the Armenians. Christian Bale’s role shows the unique importance that war correspondents play in war time, documenting violence in both words and images, listening to the accounts of survivors and observers, and sharing news with the masses. The attempt to silence Chris in the movie resonates with what Erdogan has recently been doing to his own people – with government actions against freedom of _expression_ constituting a throwback to the time in the film.

In an ironic conversation with Mikael, while Chris is uncomfortable about Mikael’s love affair with Ana, Chris shouts, “Without reporters the Armenian people will disappear and no one will know about them.” In another scene at the lobby of the hotel where Chris and Ana are staying and also where Ana and Mikael are seen together, unable to express his anger to their faces, Chris shouts at the telegram clerk helping him to report the news, “Armenian men are being taken and murdered and their women and children are being taken to the desert. Send that.” Here as elsewhere, though it hurts him, Chris never blames Mikael and Ana for their relationship.

Chris is always there to report the truth and to help Armenian refugees overcome their tragedy. He is also reporting news to the then US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau. Played by American actor James Cromwell, who looks like the real Morgenthau’s twin brother, Morgenthau’s role in the movie is very small, but it is nonetheless essential. In one short but crucial scene Morgenthau goes to see Talaat Pasha (Aaron Neil), the Ottoman Empire’s minister of interior and the main architect of the genocide, to make a formal request to release Chris to be deported to Malta. “You want to silence him, he is telling the truth,” the ambassador says. In return Talaat Pasha makes the shocking request that Morgenthau should turn over the names of Armenians who have American life insurance policies so that the state can collect the payouts. The ambassador denies the request and leaves.

For his part Emrai Ogun, who was forced to serve in the Ottoman army after his father discovers he was trying to help Armenians in their distress, is the one who sends a telegram to Morgenthau informing him that “American reporter Christopher Myers is at the army headquarters, he will be executed”. The Turkish police discover Emrai’s treason and shoot him. AP journalist Christopher Myers and ambassador Henry Morgenthau are considered eyewitnesses to the atrocities. Other similar characters did exist at the time who provided important and valuable insights into the events during and after the genocide. There are for example the English writer, political officer and archaeologist Gertrude Margaret Bell and the German soldier and human rights activist Armin Wegner.

One of the battles Armenian refugees fought bravely was the battle of Musa Dagh at Mount Moses on the Mediterranean caost. Before the end of the movie, the audience watches 4,000 Armenian refugees using their own rifles and what few cannons they have to fight for 53 days. A huge flag with a red cross is sewn by women refugees and placed by the side of the cliff facing the sea. Chris arrives on a battleship of the French Navy to look for Mikael and Ana and rescue them with the rest of the refugees who were transported to Port Said, Egypt on September 15, 1915. Unfortunately Ana drowns when the wind overturns her boat. Chris and Mikael settle in the United States.

During the Musa Dagh battle, when Mikael is holding his rifle for self defence, apparently he is unable to use it “I couldn’t pull the trigger,” he tells Ana, and it is unclear whether it’s because his character cannot take revenge – even on the Ottoman gendarmes or because, being a doctor, he can only heal fellow human beings – or simply because he cannot technically operate the rifle.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the profits from The Promise’s theatrical run are going to be donated to non-profit organisations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other humanitarian and human rights organisations.

The movie closes in Massachussets with Mikael raising a toast in Armenian at the wedding of Yeva, the Boghossian girl he adopted. “May God bless and protect our children,” he says, then he addresses the orphans who are invited to the wedding and makes a great speech: “They’re here, your parents and all those families lost in an attempt to wipe our nation from the face of the earth. But we’re still here, we’re still here…”

In the end there is not one but several promises: The promise Mikael makes to the woman he is engaged to; the Armenians’ promise never to forget; and the filmmakers’ promise never to stay silent.

After 102 years, officials in Turkey continue to deny the systematic killings, and a propaganda campaign was created to discredit The Promise after its first screening in September. The film’s IMDb (Internet Movie Database) page has received more than 86,000 user votes with one-star ratings, but reaction on social media has been equally intense.

American musician and singer Chris Cornell’s closing song The Promise too is a masterpiece. Performed and written by Cornell himself, it says, “If I had nothing to my name, but photographs of you rescued from the flame. That is all I would ever need, as long as I can read what’s written on your face. The strength that shines behind your eyes, the hope and light that will never die. One promise you made, one promise that always remain, no matter the price a promise to survive, persevere and thrive, as we’ve always done…”

Although The Promise has fewer scenes of brutality than any other film on the genocide, it brought tears to my eyes perhaps more than any other. My ancestors’ struggle to survive is something I am still going through, and it makes me both sad and proud.


#69 Yervant1


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:05 AM

Rest in peace Chris!

The Armenian Weekly

May 18 2017
Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave Frontman, Dead at 52

By Weekly Staff on May 18, 2017 in News // 0 Comments // email_famfamfam.png // printer_famfamfam.gif


DETROIT, Mich. (A.W.)—American musician, singer, and songwriter Chris Cornell died in Detroit on the night of May 17 at the age of 52. His representative, Brian Bumbery, called the death “sudden and unexpected” in a statement and announced that Cornell’s family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause.”


Chris Cornell with his daughter at the New York premiere of ‘The Promise’ (Photo: Hoosere Bezdikian/The Armenian Weekly)

Cornell, who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and rhythm guitarist for U.S.-rock band Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for the supergroup Audioslave, released an original song on March 10 entitled “The Promise” for the feature film The Promise, about the Armenian Genocide.

“There are a couple of really amazing documentaries about the Armenian Genocide, and one of them was about the phenomenon that people who had literally minutes to grab what they could from their homes would take photos before anything else – before jewelry even,” Cornell told Rolling Stone magazine, when asked about the new song for the film. “I was really moved by that; the idea of what is most important to people in a crucial second.”

Cornell’s wife’s Greek family was also affected by the Armenian Genocide. “Literally, it’s the DNA that goes from my children back to my wife’s grandparents, who were both refugees of that policy,” Cornell told Billboard magazine in a recent interview. “It felt like that connection was there.”

When asked by Billboard if he ever suffered nightmares from watching films and documentaries of the genocide, Cornell responded by saying, “It was more like daymares. Especially seeing some of the images and some of the documentary footage. You can’t unsee it.”

Cornell had recently been busy promoting The Promise, attending the film’s New York and London premieres. Cornell also performed “The Promise” on April 19 on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, just two days before the wide release of the film, and on CBS Good Morning on April 22.

Below is video of the April 22 Performance.





#70 MosJan


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:37 AM


#71 Yervant1


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Posted 01 June 2017 - 09:29 AM

Al Monitor
May 30 2017
'The Ottoman Lieutenant' loses box office war

Author: Riada Asimovic Akyol

Posted May 30, 2017 


With its story of a love triangle between a strong-minded American nurse, a rugged Ottoman soldier and a zealous American doctor, it would be easy to classify “The Ottoman Lieutenant” as a classical romance set in a picturesque Anatolian town at the dawn of World War I. Yet the film, which takes place in the Turkish city of Van — a scene of bloodshed between Turks and Armenians — has been the cause of​ wide controversy both in the West and Turkey.

Despite the attention it has received in the media due to its subject matter, the film has not done well at the local box office, totaling 41,578 viewers so far.

The Turkish-American co-production, directed by Joseph Ruben and written by Jeff Stockwell, stars Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley, Josh Hartnett, Hera Hilmar and Michiel Huisman along with Turkish actors Haluk Bilginer and Selcuk Yontem.

Set in Turkey’s eastern province of Van in 1914, it's a love story between American nurse Lillie (Hera Hilmar) and a Turkish lieutenant, Ismail Veli (Michiel Huisman). American doctor Jude (Josh Hartnett), the reason Lillie came to Van’s hospital in the first place, is also in love with her. The tense triangle comes across in several scenes such as the two men’s fistfight at the hospital over Lillie’s honor and an angry clash of words over ethics as Jude accuses the Ottoman Empire of being an accomplice to the killing of “Christians” by doing nothing to protect them.

Subtle political messages are abundant in the film. When asked to stop the Armenians' rebellion against the Ottoman Empire by his superior, Col. Halil (played by Haluk Bilginer), Veli asks, “How are we to know who are rebels and who are villagers?” Halil replies, “The rebels are the ones firing at you.”

According to one of the film’s Turkish producers, Yusuf Esenkal, in an April 15 interview with the state-run Anatolia News Agency, the film could be called the first Turkish film in Hollywood. He described the film as classic love story, saying, “There is a common pain — and that pain is war.” Stephen Brown, one of the film's producers who will work with Esenkal on another film about the medieval poet Rumi, said he wanted to give an objective account of the common suffering of both Turks and Armenians. "We wanted to show the audience what happened during World War I in Eastern Anatolia, a subject that has not been handled before," he said.

Its reception in the West has been marked by controversy, and terms like “revisionist” and “denialist” have been thrown around. “The Ottoman Lieutenant” was compared to “The Promise,” another recently released film on a similar topic but told from the opposite perspective. “Battle over 2 Films Reflects Turkey’s Quest to Control a Bitter History,” reported The New York Times. The Hollywood Reporter saw the two films as a “battle over the Armenian genocide.

Back in Turkey, reactions have been mixed. Pro-government newspapers have shown unwavering support of the film, which presents the Armenian “deportation” as reasonable and necessary.

Serdar Akbiyik from the pro-government Star daily describes “The Ottoman Lieutenant” as a love and action film set in the time of “Armenian deportation,” but without pretensions of broad statements regarding historical events. He explains 1915 Turkey as follows: “Think of a country stabbed in the back by a minority that for hundreds of years was considered brotherly — eating, drinking together. … This minority and enemy armies would slaughter the people of the region, and then when the wind turned would pay the price for what they had done, and 100 years later still try to take revenge.”

Ali Saydam from pro-government Yeni Safak took a similar position in his column. Calling the movie a truly professional work, he said that it highlights “the official Turkish understanding of history” on an international scale through cinema. Saydam also emphasized the aggressive political outrage of Armenian lobby groups prior to and during the film’s release in the United States.

Respected Turkish film critic Atilla Dorsay said he found the film "impartial and honest, without maligning any particular camp and leaving little room for objection" but "pretty close to our national views.” However, he expressed astonishment that the famous church on Akdamar Island in Lake Van was briefly mentioned in passing and its beautiful murals were not shown. According to Dorsay, it could have been a powerful message, particularly for Western viewers, to show them and say, “Even in those complicated times, we saved these treasures.”

Other Turkish critics found the film too faithful to the Turkish narrative. Senay Aydemir from the leftist Gazete Duvar panned the film from both political and cinematic angles. Aydemir, who doesn’t shy from using the word “genocide” to describe the events of 1915, slammed the film as devoid of feelings, consistency and narrative tempo. Aydemir cynically described a scene in which Veli saves 20 Armenians from another “evil-hearted” Ottoman lieutenant and lambasted the film's light tone and thin plot that completely omits historical points of interest, such as the political context that led to the Ottoman Empire's decision to deport the Armenians. He also criticized the film's blaming of the Russians for provoking Turkish-Armenian enmity, ignoring the roles played by Germany and the UK.

The plot and actors' performance also got a dose of Turkish criticism: Hurriyet's Ugur Vardan described the story as weak and not believable. He called the performance of Hera Hilmar “expressionless” and Josh Hartnett's “mediocre.” Burak Goral of the secularist Sozcu mocked the censoring of kissing scenes in the version of the film shown in Turkish theaters: “As if an Ottoman lieutenant’s kiss on the mouth of a beloved Christian woman would spoil our Turkishness or our faith!”

Clearly, the film hasn’t found much acclaim in the box office or among critics. Yet it may still be valuable as a depiction of the common Turkish perspective on the deadly Armenian “deportation,” defined by many in the West as genocide.


#72 Yervant1


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Posted 07 June 2017 - 10:49 AM




June 6, 2017                                                                        Contact: Sevag Belian (613) 235-2622



Parliamentary Screening of “The Promise” Attracts Members and Senators From All Major Political Parties


Ottawa – On Monday, June 5, 2017, a special screening of the Armenian Genocide era Hollywood epic, “The Promise” took place on Parliament Hill.


The special event that was organized by the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Armenian National Committee of Canada, was attended by a significant number of members, senators, parliamentary staffers and civil servants.


Brief introductory remarks were delivered by ANCC member, Mr. Manoug Alemian, where he thanked MP Arnold Chan and members of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group for their steadfast support and cordial commitment to the advancement of issues concerning the Armenian-Canadian community.


After viewing the movie, members had the opportunity to share their comments, views and impressions about the movie that was first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, last September.


Following the screening, MP Arnold Chan, chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and Dr. Vatche Chamlian, Vice-Chair of the ANCC National Board addressed the gathering to thank the attendees for their support and to stress the importance of supporting movies that aim to reveal the truth about historical atrocities such as the Armenian Genocide.


Set during the waning days of the Ottoman Turkish Empire“The Promise” tells the story of a love triangle sparked between an Armenian medical student, Michael (Oscar Issac), Anna (Charlotte Le Bon), and renowned American photojournalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale). The First World War and the Armenian Genocide of the 1915-1923 form the historical backdrop of an epic story of love, loyalty and survival.


Canada is one of the many countries that has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide on all levels of Government. Furthermore, on April 24, 2015, on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously passed a motion, declaring the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention month.




Image Captions:


IMG_01: ANC Members with Ambassador Yeganian and executive members of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group

IMG_03: Left to Right: Ambassador Yeganian, MP Bryan May, ANCC Vice-Chair Dr. Vatche Chamlian, MP Bob Saroya








The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.

#73 Yervant1


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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:56 AM

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
June 6, 2017 Tuesday

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian attends premiere of 'The Promise'

YEREVAN, JUNE 6, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of New South Wales Gladys
Berejiklian attended the premiere of Armenian Genocide themed movie
‘The Promise’ in Australia, the Armenian National Committee of
Australia told Armenpress.

Gladys Berejiklian expressed hope that more people will watch the
movie, stating that it is strictly important topic for Armenians. She
thanked Armenian philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian for great contribution
to creation of the movie. NSW PM stated that the Armenian community
must take every chance to contribute to recognition of the Armenian

The premiere of ‘The Promise’ movie was held on April 21, 2017.

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#74 Yervant1


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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:57 AM

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
June 23, 2017 Friday

Hollywood stars urge to 'keep the promise' for the sake of late Chris
Cornell's dream

YEREVAN, JUNE 23, ARMENPRESS. Hollywood stars Tom Hanks, George
Clooney, System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, PharrellWilliams launched an
initiative to support late renowned musician Chris Cornell to fulfill
his dream and transfer the whole proceeds from the song ‘The Promise’
to refugees and children, People.com reports.

A video with participation of stars has been released where they urge
to join to fulfill Cornell’s dream. Isaac, Bale,George Clooney,Ryan
Gosling,Tom Hanks,Josh Brolin,Elton John, System of a Down’s Serj
Tankian, Cher,Jennifer Lopezand Pharrell Williams appear in the
inspiring clip.

“My friend Cornell was committed to helping children and refugees”, Brolin said.

“Chris Cornell has decided to donate all of the proceeds from the song
that he did for ‘The Promise to charity of refugees and children in
need”, Serj Tankian said.

“Let’s all help Chris to make that happen”, Tom Hanks stated.

Famous signer Pharrell Williams called on to join the campaign for the
sake of Chris Cornell posting #keepthepromise in social network.

At the end of the clip Chris Cornell says: “Hi, I’m Chris Cornell, and
I vow to keep the promise to fight for the world’s most vulnerable

Renowned rock musician Chris Cornell’s official music video for ‘The
Promise’ Armenian Genocide themed movie has been released on June 20,
the World Refugee Day.

The video depicts some exciting scenes on refugees living in different
parts of the world. The photos of the survivors of the Armenian
Genocide are included in the video preparation works, as well as there
are photos from a rally dedicated to 100th anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide organized in US.

At the end of the video it is mentioned that the musician donates all
proceeds from ‘The Promise’ song to assist children and refugees.

Lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave Chris Cornell passed away on
May 17 at the age of 52. Cornell wrote and performed ‘The Promise’
song for the eponymous movie on the Armenian Genocide. Speaking about
the movie , he said: “That was one of the things that was important to
me, was not just telling a century-old story, but telling that story
because it's happening today”.

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#75 Yervant1


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Posted 05 July 2017 - 09:19 AM

Neos Kosmos - The Hellenic Perspetive - Australia
July 5 2017
The Promise shows the horrors of genocide, and denial

Set during the final years of the Ottoman Empire, Terry George's film sheds light on the nightmares Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians have lived with for decades - the brutal massacre and genocide of millions, and the denial that it ever happened.



The release of Terry George's The Promise has been awaited around the world with great anticipation. So much so, that before the film was even made available for public viewing, it had tens of thousands of reviews online, many of which were one-star ratings with comments including "F**king liars made a movie about so-called Armenian genocide" and "This is a lesson that you don't f**k with Turks". But it was never going to be smooth sailing, rehashing such a controversial point in history.

For Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians the world over, the film's release was a relief. Familiar with the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide through the memories of Pontic Greeks, I understood what it would mean for those who had grown up hearing about their relatives losing their homes, their way of life, and loved ones at the outset of World War I, seeing 1.5 million Armenians, 750,000 Pontic Greeks and 500,000 Assyrians killed between 1915 and 1922. While horrors such as these can never, and should never, be forgotten, the memories are particularly raw a hundred years on as the Turkish government continues to deny it ever happened.

The historical drama, written by Terry George and Robin Swicord, starts off in the lead-up to the genocide at the turn of the century in the small Armenian village of Sirun, where Mikel (Oscar Issac) is negotiating a betrothal with a local girl in a bid to move to Constantinople with the money from her dowry to pursue studies in medicine.

Once in the city, he meets with his uncle, a wealthy merchant, through whom he is introduced to Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), an intelligent and beautiful Armenian woman who was mostly raised in France. There is an undeniable energy between them, which quickly sees a love triangle develop; Ana is involved with Chris (Christian Bale), a Paris-based American journalist who is passionate about documenting the mounting tensions between the Turks and local Armenian population.

When tensions truly break out with the start of the First World War, Mikel is exempt from joining the military but is taken prisoner in a labour camp.

One thing leads to another – it's a drama after all – and Mikel finds his way back to Sirun where he is urged by his mother to fulfil his promise to marry his betrothed. But just as he appears to be adjusting to village life, the Turkish military continue to make their way through sites once peacefully inhabited by Armenian families, tearing them apart.

While the romantic plot is consistent throughout and the aesthetic is Hollywood-esque, for those aware of the film's historical significance any argument that the 'romantic saga' overpowers the true narrative at play seems more so to call into question the viewers' ability to feel empathy.

The pain, loss, confusion, uncertainty, and pure fear communicated on screen, namely by Issac's strong onscreen performance, are undeniable.

While the history is of the early 1900s, it is as relevant as ever when it comes to the displacement of people. One cannot help but draw parallels between the minority of Armenians who escaped and are seen being saved on boats by their French ally, with the recent ongoing refugee crisis that has seen some 200,000 Syrian refugees arrive on Greece's shores.

The romantic complexity hasn't rated highly amongst critics, and while admittedly unoriginal, it does well in bringing the storyline closer to home for those who cannot identify with the migrant experience. Everyone has fallen in love at least once no? (If not, see point one about empathy.)

It's questionable how long it would have taken for a film of this calibre to be made about the genocide, had it not been for the late Armenian American philanthropist Kirk Kerkorian who donated the entire $90 million budget.

While only grossing US$8 million at the box office, it's evident that the large budget, along with the involvement of A-listers like Bale, was not in vain but rather worked to garner as much attention as possible to the history, and the cause.

So far more than 20 countries, and two Australian states, have recognised the massacre as a genocide, and while not adequate, The Promise as a film – admittedly with its imperfections - has already proven useful in spurring dialogue about the atrocities carried out against the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian peoples; a painful reality passed on through generations.


When it comes to historical memory, much can be taken from the German approach, where the willingness and open approach to discussing the Jewish Holocaust is striking. In my own experience with guides and locals, the reason cited is that by being completely transparent about the wrongdoings of the past, by recognising them, and choosing to never forget, that it will help in moving forward and prove as a reminder for future generations of a time they would not want to repeat.

While The Promise is a film and not in fact a historical record, as the credits roll and authentic photographs from the time depict people being killed and others on boats being transferred to safety, you can't help but wonder; how can each successive Turkish government have continued to deny such atrocities? And what will people continue to be capable of if this denial continues?


#76 Yervant1


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Posted 25 September 2017 - 09:13 AM

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
September 23, 2017 Saturday

'The Promise' director Terry George and co-producer Eric Esrailian
visit Armenian Genocide Memorial

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 23, ARMENPRESS. ‘The Promise’ Armenian Genocide
themed movie director Terry George and co-producer EricEsrailian on
September 23 visited the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in
Yerevan, reports Armenpress.

They were accompanied by culture minister of Armenia Armen Amiryan and
AGBU Central Board members.

“This visit sums up everything that I worked for over the last four
years and brings into focus what really cinema and the power of cinema
can be about, to try to commemorate the loss of lives and the horrible
crime that was committed. So, this is the most emotional moment of the
whole production of The Promise itself, the most important moment of
the project”, George said.

George and Esrailian paid tribute to the Armenian genocide victims
with a moment of silence as they laid flowers at the eternal flame.
They also planted a tree in the Memory Alley to honor the memory of
the late Kirk Kerkorian, the legendary man who tirelessly worked to
bring The Promise to big screens, and toured in the genocide museum.

“This tree symbolizes the ever-growing reach of the Armenian story.
Kirk Kerkorian planted the seed, and Terry, Mike Medavoy, and I have
been honored to work with our incredible cast and crew to share this
story with the world. We must never let the world forget our past, and
we must move forward together support others in need. Under Kirk
Kerkorian's direction, we followed through on his wishes for the film.
Today, we honor his life and the lives of those lost over a hundred
years ago”, Eric Esrailian said.

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 07:40 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
Sept 29 2017
Chris Cornell was deeply affected by Armenian Genocide, his widow says

Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky has said that the musician was deeply affected by the Armenian Genocide.

The full video of Vicky Cornell accepting the L.A. Chefs for Human Rights Hero Award on behalf of her late husband, the Soundgarden frontman, earlier this week has now surfaced.

Chris Cornell was honored at a fundraising event for Program for Torture Survivors (PTV) at the award-winning restaurant Cassia for his humanitarian efforts and his original song and music video “The Promise.”

“Chris was deeply affected by the Armenian story, one of our close friends is Dr. (Eric) Esrailian, the producer of the film and the great grandson of survivors of the Genocide," she said.

"He also understood how profoundly my own Greek family had been affected by the events of 1915. My grandparents had themselves been refugees. Because of these human stories, he wanted to use the song to reach people in their hearts. Through music, he wanted to spread the message that we have a shared humanity, that we must care for each other and not turn our backs on the atrocities being committed against innocent people. The more Chris learned about this dark chapter and the history of the Armenian people, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the similarities in what is happening in Syria today, among other countries.”

In 2017 Cornell wrote the theme song for "The Promise", ultimately becoming one of his biggest hits. Cornell cited a connection with "The Promise" through his Greek wife, whose family had been affected by the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocide. This prompted his family to tour refugee camps in Greece, where they formed the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, to help aid child refugees and the issues affecting them. At the time of the song’s release, Cornell stated, “[The Promise] is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities.”


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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:56 AM

Insights News
Oct 13 2017
The reel truth about the Armenian Genocide


Recently released on DVD, The Promise is a new drama about an old conflict that many people know very little about. Insights speaks with an Armenian Christian to get his first-hand review of how Hollywood has treated one of his nation’s most horrific periods.


Set against the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide which occured for about one decade from 1915, The Promise centres on Armenian student Mikael (Oscar Isaac), Armenian-born Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) and Paris-based American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). Around their affairs of the heart, escalating tensions between the ruling Ottoman Empire and Armenians flare into ethnic cleansing.

Chris Zakaryan is an Armenian-born bloke who lives in Sydney and works as a Financial Analyst with Uniting Financial Services. Unlike you and me, when Chris watched The Promise, he knew whether it was fact or fiction.

“For us Armenians, we know a lot more, so we can find bits and pieces which are not quite sticking together,” reports Chris about The Promise. “But for someone who doesn’t know anything, I think it was a great introduction to motivate someone to do more research, to find out a bit more.”

The deep-seated faith of Armenians is “not touched on in great detail by The Promise,” says Chris. “But it makes it obvious that Armenians are Christians, Turks are Muslim, and there is a clash of religions.”

“I think a big part of why it happened is because we were Christians and Armenians; it was clearly on faith grounds.

“It was a massive disaster for Armenians; and, not only for Armenians, it was a very sad moment for all of us humans. I think [those events] show the dark side of what we can become if we completely forget who we are and who we are created by. We are created by God and if we forget that, [the Armenian Genocide] shows what we can become.”



Given Chris has grown up in a culture that continues to be shaped by the events which The Promise touches on, what is it like for him to be an Armenian Christian? Chris shares that forgiveness is a defining characteristic of his people, while pointing out his personal identity is anchored in something much greater than national pride, tradition or experience.

“It’s important not to forget or ignore what happened but I’m very thankful to God that that’s not what defines me. I look at it as something tragic that has happened in our history and we can learn a lot from it. But also, and more so, when I look at the Armenian Genocide, I see the amazing stories of compassion that other nations have showed to Armenia. Also, some miraculous stories of some people who were saved. That’s another piece of evidence for me that even though things happen in life and you can’t eliminate bad things from happening around you, one thing that is constant for me is I know for sure nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ.”

“Not life nor death, or even if you think there is a distance between you and God, can separate you from his love. His love is eternal, his plans are great and his arms are open always.”

As he helps us better evaluate The Promise and reflects on his own faith and his nation’s history, it could be easy for Chris to dwell in anger or doubt about God’s love in Jesus Christ. But he hasn’t done that and continues not to.

“Another thing I have never dwelled in – and I think it’s the same for a lot of Armenians – is hate. The movie has showed that the Armenian response is not hate. In The Promise, Ana says sadly but proudly: ‘Our revenge will be to survive.’ So, it’s not ‘we will do the same as they did to us.’ It’s ‘we will survive and prove to them that nothing can extinguish Armenians. We believe God will always keep us here.’”

“The Turkish government wanted us wiped out. They thought they almost succeeded but I wish they could see Armenia now; it’s a thriving and successful country.

“I think about Armenia like it’s a ‘great comeback’ and it’s happened, I believe, because God was, is and always will be with us.”

Ben McEachen


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Posted 29 October 2017 - 11:50 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
Oct 28 2017
October 28, 2017 - 12:17 AMT
Armenian Genocide song nommed for Hollywood Music In Media Awards

Chris Cornell's song composed for "The Promise" - a film about the Armenian Genocide - has been nominated for the2017 Hollywood Music In Visual Media Awards.

Written and performed by Cornell, the piece servedas the ending credits song for the film.

Also nominated in the Original Son - Feature Film category are “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (Fifty Shades Darker) – Written by Taylor Swift, Sam Dew and Jack Antonoff. Performed by Zayn & Taylor Swift; “If I Dare” (Battle of the Sexes) Written by Sara Bareilles and Nicholas Britell. Performed by Sara Bareilles; “Mighty River” (Mudbound) Written by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, and Taura Stinson. Performed by Mary J. Blige; “Stand Up For Something” (Marshall) Music by Diane Warren, Lyrics by Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn. Performed by Andra Day, featuring Common; “This Is Me” (The Greatest Showman) Written by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Performed by Keala Settle.

Cornell cited a connection with "The Promise" through his Greek wife, whose family had been affected by the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocide. This prompted his family to tour refugee camps in Greece, where they formed the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation, to help aid child refugees and the issues affecting them.

At the time of the song’s release, Cornell stated, “[The Promise] is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities.”


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Posted 12 November 2017 - 09:26 AM

Loud Wire
Nov 10 2017
Chris Cornell to Posthumously Receive  Inaugural "Promise Award"
In the spring of this year, Chris Cornell released "The Promise," a beautiful acoustic song he penned for the Christian Bale film of the same name that documents the last days of the Ottoman Empire and the genocide that swept through it. Cornell reflected on the Armenian Genocide in the track and used it as a vessel to further refugee advocacy, a cause close to his heart. Now, the Los Angeles Committee of Human Rights Watch will honor the late musician's efforts with the inaugural "Promise Award" at a dinner on Nov. 14.
"The award recognizes an outstanding song, television show, or film that advances the values of equity and justice in an original and powerful way," states a press release describing the purpose of the "Promise Award." System of a Down's Serj Tankian, who is of Armenian descent, will be on site at the Voices for Justice Human Rights Watch Annual Dinner to present the award. The singer served as the Executive Music Consultant for The Promise film and also contributed a song to the soundtrack.
Since Cornell's passing, celebrities like Cher, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Jennifer Lopez, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hanks and Oscar Isaac vowed to maintain the rocker's passion for refugee advocacy in a compilation video.
"'The Promise' to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it's also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words 'never again' seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the twentieth century, as well as renewed racism and prejudice around the world," stated Cornell upon the song's release.

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