A strong-willed young woman, who, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire - a world both exotic and dangerous, and on the brink of what is about to become the first World War. There, she finds her loyalty to Jude and the mission's founder tested when she falls in love with their perceived enemy, a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army. Now, with invading army forces at their doorstep, and the world about to plunge into all-out war, she must make a decision if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.
The Ottoman Lieutenant was largely panned by film critics. On review Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 21%, with an average rating of 3.6/10. Several critics criticized the film for perpetuating the denial of the Armenian Genocide. In his review for Variety Dennis Harvey writes, "(In) this primarily Turkish-funded production, the historical, political, ethnic and other intricacies — not to mention that perpetual elephant in the room, the Armenian Genocide, which commenced in 1915 — are glossed over in favor of a generalized 'Whattaya gonna do war is bad' aura that implies conscience without actually saying anything." In his review of the film for Slant Magazine, Keith Watson writes, "More conspicuous than The Ottoman Lieutenant's rote melodrama is the way the film elides the concurrent genocide of ethnic Armenians by Ottoman forces, a historical reality which the Turkish government continues to deny to this day.", while critic Roger Moore called The Ottoman Lieutenant "a botched love-triangle romance set against a revisionist account of the Turkish Armenian Genocide." On March 7, 2017, the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States issued a statement, urging the public not to watch the film in theaters or support it in any way. "(We) do feel it is important for our community to be aware of the fact that genocide denial is present and still a major issue, even outside of the Republic of Turkey," read a part of the statement.
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