Armenian Genocide movies are entitled to raise awareness about what happened at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Armenian Genocide was one of the biggest crimes against humanity. It was initiated and committed by Turkish government in Ottoman Empire during World War I. The world’s silence about this crime gave a greenlight to new atrocities, later to be known as Holocaust.
Therefore, many movies about Armenian Genocide aim at depicting the reality and make the world say “never again” to wars and annihilation of nations.
Come along with us and dive into the cinematography dedicated to Armenian Genocide. Armeniagogo points at 7 must-be –watched movies about Armenian Genocide.
Armenian Genocide Movie #1: Auction of Souls
“Auction of Souls” is the first Armenian Genocide movie that appeared on screens in 1919. The Hollywood made film is based on autobiographical book “Ravished Armenia” by Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganyan.
This woman survived the Genocide when 14 and later on wrote down all her thoughts and experiences. The movie was directed by Oscar Apfel. At the first half of the Armenian Genocide movie you witness WWI and Armenia before massacres.
Then endless marches to the desert begin. Concluding scenes show Turkish slave market and Armenian women being tortured for refusing to enter Turkish harems.
Aurora Mardiganyan, Irvin Cummings, Anna Q. Nilsson and Henry Morgenthau starred in the film. Because of the topic described in the film, it was scheduled to limited showings.
Still, in some parts of the US there were attempts to ban the film. Unfortunately, the movie was mostly lost. Thus, 24-minute reconstruction was released in 2009.
Armenian Genocide Movie #2: Mayrig (“Mother”)
Another movie based on Armenian Genocide was released in 1991 in France. Unlike other films, this one is kind of special and touching. Of course, all movies about Armenian Genocide are touching and pathetic, but this one is much warmer and encouraging.
“Mayrig” (this is an Armenian word for “mother”) is a semi-autobiographical film. It was written and directed by filmmaker Henri Verneuil. By the way, he was half-Armenian. Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif make the principal cast of the movie.
It’s a story of Armenian family who survived Genocide and moved to France. The movie depicts all hardships the family endures in the foreign country. The loving and caring mayrig (mother) is the main character in this story.
Due to her efforts and support, the family passes through everything successfully. This wonderful movie won a Cesar Award and an Academy Award by the National Academy of Cinema. At “Rotten Tomatoes” the film has 95% rating.
So, don’t lose time! Just get your dear mom and watch this awesome movie filled with love and respect toward every family member.
Armenian Genocide Movie #3: Ararat
If you want to see celebs of Armenian cinematography altogether in one movie, then turn on “Ararat”. The movie is mostly in English. It is about a family and a film crew in Toronto, working on a film based loosely on the 1915 defense of Van, during the Armenian Genocide.
Besides, the film touches upon other topics as well. It seeks the truth through art. Then the movie explores gaps between generations. Many Canadian-Armenian characters identify symbols with their heritage.
Accordingly, Ani, Edward Saroyan and Raffi make the list of that generations with their own stories and goals. Filmmaker Atom Egoyan wrote and directed the Armenian Genocide movie in 2002.
Arsineh Khanjian, Charles Aznavour, Christopher Plummer and Eric Bogosian starred in this Canadian-French historical-drama film. The movie won five awards at the 23rd Genie Award.
Armenian Genocide Movie #4: 1915
If you are looking for movies about Armenian Genocide in English, then “1915” is what you need. This psychological thriller film was co-written and directed by Alec Mouhibian and Garin Hovhannisian in 2015.
The title refers to the Armenian Genocide. Angela Sarafyan, Samuel Page, Simon Abkarian and Nikolai Kinski starred in the movie. Music was written by Grammy-winning frontaman of SOAD Serj Tankian.
In the film, a director stages a play in Los Angeles in honor of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. His wife performs the role of an Armenian woman in 1915, whose decision will change the course of history.
If interested in the enigmatic continuation of the movie, then watch it! Besides, it was represented in many film festivals, such as Romanian International Film Festival, Golden Apricot International Film Festival.
And another award worth special attention. The movie won the Special Jury Prize in Turkey, during Lake Van International Film Festival. During World Entertainment Armenian Awards, it won a prize for the “Best Film”.
Armenian Genocide Movie #5: The Lark Farm
Foreign directors didn’t pass by the tragedy of Armenians. “The Lark Farm” was directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. This Italian drama film was released in 2007.
Once again, it touches upon Armenian Genocide. The drama is based on the Antonia Arslan’s novel. It is about Avakian family who live in Western Armenia (Ottoman Empire).
The Avakians notice preconditions that will lead to atrocities toward Armenians. However, they don’t pay attention to it. But they fail to avoid mass killings. Men of the family are killed, whereas women are forced to march to Syrian desert.
Paz Vega, Alessandro Preziosi, Arsine Khanjian, Tcheky Karyo, Mohammed Bakri and others successfully create their characters and transfer all the feelings and emotions to viewers.
“The Lark Farm” featured at the Berlin Film Festival with the message is that any kind of conflict may result in an irreversible catastrophe.
Armenian Genocide Movie #6: Dzori Miro
Movies about Armenian Genocide make up the list of the local cinematography as well. Zhirayar Avetisyan directed the movie “Dzori Miro” in 1981. It was the time when Soviet Government nearly banned any topic concerning Armenian Genocide.
The film is based on the novel of the Armenian writer Mushegh Galshoyan. Late Sos Sargsyan starred in it. He played the role of Miro who loses his family in 1915. He fights against Turks. Soon he moves to Eastern Armenia and falls in love with a refugee girl.
The movie highlights the strong desire of a human to continue living even when the last hope is lost.
Armenian Genocide Movie #7: The Promise
A film with really promising future! Taking the Armenian Genocide as a background, this film is about love triangle between Armenian medical student, an American journalist based in Paris and an Armenian-born woman raised in France, during the fall of the Ottoman Turkey.
The medical student lives in small Armenian village. He promises himself to a rich woman to get gold coins. Due to it he travels to Constantinople to study at the medical university.
Soon, Turks start the mass killings of Armenians. He manages to escape the genocide. What happens next, you will be able find out when the movie is on screens.
Make sure to watch it, because the crew is outstanding. Terry George directs it, whereas Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale star in the film.
It officially premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. Based on 13 reviews the film has 31% rating. The Guardian gave 3 stars out of 5.
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