This film is based on the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire 1915, which resulted in the forced migration and diaspora of the Armenian minority. One day a young family man, Nazaret Manoogian, gets deported by the Turkish authorities together with all the other Armenian men from his native village of Mardin. He becomes a forced laborer and only survives the mass murder by chance and an act of kindness, but loses his family, speech and faith. One night the devastated Nazaret learns that his daughters may still be alive and didn't die like his wife from starvation, violence or rape on death marches. Nazaret goes on a quest to find them and travels from his small village through the Mesopotamian deserts to the sea, always looking for clues that might lead him to his children. Nazaret's epic journey will take him from Asia to America, from the end to a new beginning...Written by
Tahir Rahim ('A Prophet') stars as Nazarat an Armenian artisan in the town of Mardin. World War I is raging and the Ottoman Turks have thrown in their lot with the forces of Germany and her allies. In Turkey a decision is made to do something about the Christian Armenians. Nazarat is rounded up and forced to work as slave labour – leaving his wife and twin daughters alone to their fate.
What befalls him is horrific and what befell the Armenians was a war crime and a crime against humanity. In the aftermath of his travails Nazarat hears that his daughters have survived the blood bath, he then sets out to find them and the majority of the film is taken up with his search.
Now this is a fairly good effort, it is a bit shameless at tugging on the heart strings though. It was a wide European co-production and that is reflected in the languages being used. The main language though is English, which is used by most of the players here. That may be why it has faced criticism of some of the acting. That criticism is that some of it was a bit hammy or wooden. It is harder to act in a non native tongue so a lot of the nuances are lost.
Rahim is as ever excellent and believable and as a central character to the film he manages to hold it all together very well. There are some plot holes and I could not find if this was based on an actual real story. However, it is fairly engaging and with a run time of around two hours managed to keep me gripped for the most part hence my rating.
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