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This documentary is about the deportation, rape and murder of over a
million Armenians in the early 20th century in the Ottoman Empire
(headquartered in what's today modern Turkey). It's told through
interviews, narration by Julianna Marguiles and photos (which are often
very shocking). Surprisingly, there appears to be LOTS of documentation
to prove that indeed these atrocities did happen during WWI. That this
occurred is really not in question by anyone willing to look at this
film or contemporary evidence--even from the post-WWI Turkish
I was interesting in seeing this documentary because unlike the mass genocide of other groups, the mass killing of the Armenians in the early 20th century is completely denied by the Turkish government today. They seem to behave as if a million of these folks just disappeared! I was surprised when I had a conversation with a Turkish-American--and he, too, was in complete denial about this mass murder...complete! But even today, the Turkish government becomes incensed when the genocide is mentioned at all and their allies cannot talk about it or risk the wrath of the folks in Turkey! Now I am NOT blaming Turks today for the murders--most of the folks who did this have been dead for almost a century. But those who CONTINUE to deny it today deserve some sort of blame for keeping this lie alive. I cannot understand WHY this is the case even today--more than 90 years later. People need to know about this crime and so I feel this sad documentary is must-see viewing for everyone--though you should probably not let younger kids see this due to the very graphic content. Exceptionally well-made and thorough.
I was amazed at the modern excuses, denials and minimizations shown in the film--and they are bound to strike you. One guy said it did not occur BUT if it had, the Armenians brought it on themselves for atrocities against the Muslims. Another said that the Armenians simply left the country--there were no killings. Another said "...whatever had to be done was done...but it was not genocide". Others objected to the term 'genocide' and preferred to call it a 'tragedy'!
Also, the film did talk about Armenian terrorism against Turks--particularly in the 1970s and 80s. The film did not attempt to hide this counter-attack decades later.
Contains the most important part of what every great documentary
I was astonished at the amount of valuable, interesting new facts the documentary presents. Would be a great method for teaching about the Armenian Genocide. Unlike most documentaries, it does Not take you into a sleepy and weary mode.
Again, what I like and value most is the fact that the documentary is portraying truth. Andrew Goldberg did an astonishing job making this documentary.
Another great film about the Armenian Genocide is "Ararat" directed by Atom Egoyan. I love this movie and Stephen Holden from The New York Times says "Ararat" is the year's most thought-provoking film." It would be a sin to disagree. I agree.
Considering the magnitude of the Armenian Genocide, one wonders why so
few movies or documentaries of quality have been produced on the
subject; An ethnic minority (the Armenians), systematically slaughtered
by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire...fewer than 100 years ago.
Andrew Goldberg has done something that no other American documentary filmmaker has done: produced a comprehensive, factual, moving and even-handed examination of one of the darkest pages in contemporary world history.
I saw this film (in Aprill 2006) at both the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and on PBS. The level to which I was impressed did not diminish when seeing the documentary on the small screen. I am certain Goldberg's product was compelling and understandable for the large non-Armenian audience, for whom it was intended. Many of them told me as much.
Some have faulted Goldberg for being too even-handed, considering the international consensus that what happened from 1915 to 1923 was Genocide. But, including in the film, a couple of sound bites from Armenian-Genocide deniers, and exposing their despicable and weak arguments, was a small price to pay. Yes, they were offered a platform and some credibility that we'd rightfully denounce if they were Holocaust deniers...but the German government has acknowledged its ugly past. The Turkish government, to this day, spends millions of dollars a year to plant seeds of doubt into the minds of the Armerican public and easily compromised politicians.
For the large, non-Armenian North American public that saw this documentary, there can be no question as to what happened between 1915 and 1923.
Mr. Goldberg has used the tools of 21st-Century electronic journalism to clearly examine the first Genocide of the 20th Century.
this has got to be one of the best documentaries done on the Armenian
Genocide. The systematical massacres of the Armenians in the 1915-1920
era were done by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, this was not war, this was
not for the good of the Armenians. Since when is moving 1.5 million
people into the desert with few or no food or water for the good of the
people?...Since when is the minority of an EMPIRE any danger for the
government of the country?...It is clear that most of very few of the
previous comments were not educated ones, because they seemed to forget
the 100'000 Armenians massacred in their villages during the 1875-1878
era in the hands of the ottoman sultan.
Id recommend to watch this movie with an open mind, the movie basically promotes fact, true facts unlike what the Turkish government is doing now promoting falsified facts, to their own people and paying professors in the USA to promote the "idea" of that the genocide never happened.
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