Genocide 100: New movies, documentaries presented on 1915 events ahead of Centennial

Ahead the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide Armenian and foreign film directors continue presenting to the world films about the massacres of 1.5 million Armenians that took place in the Ottoman Empire and were the first genocide of the 20th century.

German filmmaker and playwright Christian Papke told reporters on Monday that he is shooting a film called “Armenia: Long Road of Shadows” which is telling about Armenia and the Armenian Genocide.

“It will be broadcast on the German National TV on April 21. The film is considered to be one of those presenting countries and will serve as a visiting card. I am trying to present your country and point out its specialties,” the German filmmaker said.

Earlier well-known German film director, screenwriter and producer of Turkish descent Fatih Akin presented his film called “The Cut” in Armenian cinemas; it tells about a Genocide survivor, Armenian Nazaret Manukyan; years after the Genocide he accidentally finds out that his twin daughters might also have survived, and starts their search reaching up till the U.S. state of North Dakota. Finally he finds but only one of the daughters.

“When I was in Turkey recently many reproached me for showing only a one-sided view of 1915 events in my movie. And I answered that there is no second side. This is not a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid so that there are two viewpoints. The truth is just one, and I believe that in 1915 there was a Genocide… This is simply what I believe,” Fatih Akin told ArmenianGenocide100.org.

The movie with a duration of 138 minutes had a budget of 5.5 million Euros (about $5.9 million). Shootings for “The Cut” started in March 2013 and were realized in Jordan, Germany, Cuba and Malta. The film was presented to the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

The premiere of a full-length feature-documentary film, “Map of Salvation”, is scheduled for April 22; the film tells about a humanistic movement that was formed during the Armenian Genocide like a wave of protest and rebellion. Heroes of the 90-minute film are Genocide witnesses, five women who came to help children and women.

In commemoration of the Centennial of the Genocide a film called “The GENEX” is being shot with participation of Hollywood stars such as Natalie Portman and Armand Assante. The director and the screenplay writer is Armenian American Artak Sevada. The film is based on true events.

Armenians had money on their bank accounts in 1915, but after the Genocide there has been no one to claim that money. “What is it if not genocide?” the film director said, presenting the plot of the movie.

The premiere of the movie is scheduled for April 24. It is due to be released in different countries. The budget of the film is $30 million.

In Los Angeles the premiere of the film “1915” will take place on April 24; the authors of the film are Karin Hovannisian (the son of Raffi Hovannisian) and Alec Mouhibian. Music for the film was written by Armenian-American rock singer, former System of a Down band vocalist Serj Tankian. “1915” attempts to remind of the forgotten specters of the Genocide, urging that the denial of the Genocide be stopped.

The first documentary about the Armenian Genocide, “Ravished Armenia” was shot in November 1918, in the United States; the main heroine and actress of the film is Aurora (Arshaluys) Mardiganian, a Genocide survivor. A documentary telling about this film was shot and the Armenian Museum-institute of the Armenian Genocide is the author of this film.

In 2007 Paolo and Vittorio Taviani shot a film called “The Lark Farm” based on the novel by Italian writer and scholar of Armenian origin Antonia Arslan. The movie tells about a family's struggle for survival against the odds during the Armenian genocide in Turkey. The most successful films by Armenian directors are “Mayrig” (1991) by Henri Verneuil (Ashot Malakian), and “Ararat” (2002) by Atom Egoyan. Two years ago “Grandma’s Tattoos” by Swedish-Armenian Film director Suzzanne was a big success; the film tells about the real life story of Suzzane’s grandmother through tattoos.