‘The Promise:’ The Armenian Genocide Epic Kirk Kerkorian Spent a Fortune to Make

THE PROMISE TIFF
Courtesy of TIFF

The Promise,” a sweeping historical romance starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, is the kind of movie epic they just don’t make anymore. It’s a throwback to David Lean’s “Doctor Zhivago” and Warren Beatty’s “Reds,” movies that transposed big, emotional stories against a sprawling canvas, and tugged at the heartstrings while dealing with thorny political periods.

It’s risky, but not just in that way. Not only is it one of the most expensive independently financed films ever made, it also deals frankly with the Armenian genocide. The mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire took place between 1915 and 1922, but decades later, the episode remains politically fraught. Bringing the story to the masses was a mission for Kirk Kerkorian, a businessman of Armenian descent who once owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He died in 2015 as the film was going into production.

“This was personal for him,” says Eric Esrailian, one of the film’s producers. “He always wanted to make an epic film with the best actors available that wouldn’t just be a history lesson.”

His vision wasn’t cheap. “The Promise,” co-written and directed by Terry George (“Hotel Rwanda”), cost nearly $100 million to make before tax breaks. Kerkorian provided all of the financing through Survival Pictures, a company he set up with Esrailian. The film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has yet to close a distribution deal. Esrailian thinks the subject matter may be scaring some buyers away.

There’s a reason for that fear. Officials in Turkey continue to deny that systematic killings of Armenians took place. “I’ll just say that there are some studios that have business interests in Turkey, and you can form your own opinion,” says Esrailian.

“I’ll just say that there are some studios that have business interests in Turkey, and you can form your own opinion.”
Eric Esrailian

There were no public protests at the Toronto premiere, but there is already evidence of a propaganda campaign to discredit “The Promise.” The film’s IMDb page has received more than 86,000 user votes, the bulk of them one-star ratings, despite the fact that the movie has had only three public screenings. That’s more user reviews than appear for “Finding Dory,” the highest-grossing film of the year. The filmmakers say reaction on social platforms has been equally intense.

“The day after we screened the movie, 70,000 people went on IMDb and said they didn’t like the movie,” says Mike Medavoy, one of the film’s producers. “There’s no way that many people saw the movie after one screening. There aren’t that many seats in the theater. ”

“The Promise” centers on a love triangle involving a medical student (Isaac), a journalist (Bale), and the Armenian woman (Charlotte Le Bon) who steals their hearts. All three find themselves grappling with the Ottomans’ decision to begin rounding up and persecuting Armenians.

“Some critics blamed us for being old- fashioned,” says George. “But that’s what we set out to do. We wanted as wide an audience as possible.”

This isn’t the first attempt at a movie about the Armenian genocide. In the 1930s, MGM planned to adapt “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” Franz Werfel’s novel about the massacres and deportations of Armenians, starring Clark Gable. That production was abandoned after the Turkish government threatened to launch a worldwide campaign against it.

Studios may have a reason to be cautious. The film business is an increasingly globalized one, with major movies depending on foreign revenue to make a profit. When Hollywood has dramatized the genocide, the blowback has been fierce. Atom Egoyan has the scars to prove it: His 2002 film “Ararat,” which depicted a Hollywood director trying to make a film about the genocide, was the focus of a vast campaign targeting the film’s distributor, Miramax, and Disney, its parent at the time. The studio received so many negative emails that its website crashed.

Egoyan warns that the controversy is just starting. “It’s going to be a tough ride,” he says. “The denialist lobby is very well-organized.”

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  1. Emma Vanian says:

    As a granddaughter of the Armenian genocide I thank the film for telling the story of what my grandmother must have gone through and never shared.

  2. ibtisam says:

    Can we cooperate to fiance film I wrote about armenians

  3. Jenny Madath says:

    The Promise is a wonderful real warm film on the Armenian genocide. There are so many second WW2 films produced but at last The Promise has come to tell the world what really happened to the Armenian race. Everyone should see it, a Masterpeice. I will order a DVD for my children and grand children it is important to Know the history of the Armenians and how they suffered under the Ottoman Empire. Kirk Kerkorian thank you, Eric Esrailian thank you.

  4. Would you direct me to a theater where i may see this movie?? It was playing locally and now is no longer available. I’m in Joliet, Illinois south of Chicago Il. Thank-you

  5. David S McCalmont says:

    The old saw goes – Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t people out to get me. Likewise, just because “The Promise” is a partisan polemic film doesn’t mean it cannot convey the ambiance of the time and the truth facts of what occurred. The Muslim Ottomans hated the Armenian Christians and they used the cover of war and the ruse that the Armenians were domestic agents for the Orthodox Christian Russian Tsar as a subterfuge for annihilating the Armenians in their presence once and for all. May millions of people, particularly Millennials, see this beautifully crafted, emotionally churning work of cinematic art. If “Doctor Zhivago” was worthy of Oscars, so is “The Promise”.

  6. Humanist says:

    I saw the movie .finally long due .hope to see more for all humans. Long live humanist long live .the justice .
    Wake up Turkish people educate & learn .about ur violent past .think & accept.long live armenia. & conscious Turkish people

  7. beni says:

    Just watched this movie. Amazing, and heart breaking. As an Assyrian woman, I can relate to this movie, because my grandmother shared the horror stories of the murder and killing of innocent women and children by the Turks.

  8. jess says:

    It’s an amazing way to show the tragic events of the Armenian genocide that took place over a 100 years ago.

  9. Richard Forzani says:

    Allen below is clearly one of the “Deniers” mentioned in the article.
    When you have thousands of pages of diplomatic messages from various foreign ministries located in Turkey at the time protesting the actions, sworn statements from neutrals, and even the Germans in Turkey protesting what was happening, we are looking at nothing less than a national lie. The evidence is overwhelming.
    So why did and do they lie?
    What happened is that Armenia was always an unhappy sub-nation under Turkish control. Different religion/language/culture. At the start of WW 1, Turkey began an ill-advised attack through Armenia into southern Russia. They got wiped out. Seeking a scapegoat for their failure and concerned about a possible alliance between Russia and Armenia, they began a deliberate concerted expulsion of Armenians from their homes. Ethnic cleansing. They attempted to disguise this by saying it was an evacuation, but the shootings began immediately and stayed constant. During the forced marches there was no food or medical attention.
    They lied during the genocide to hide it from their own people. They lied after to escape punishment. They lie today because it is now part of their national image.
    Tell me; what do you suppose happened to 1.5 million people in 1 year who disappeared? Did they evaporate? Did they all have heart attacks from over-spiced kebabs and suddenly die? Don’t think so, Allen.

    • Turksultanoğlu says:

      Allen is wrong about the suddeness of the turks turning on armenians. Before the turkish suzeraignty there was an estimated 11 million armenians in their homelabd. Centuries of massacre under bloody sultans bring the armenian population to a meer 3 million towards the 18-19th century. Allen can read byzantine or arabic history for more information, but we dont need to focus on antiquity.

      Lets never forget that what makes the 1915 genocide unique is that the systematic killing is carried out by a constitutional government and with the help of a national court system. And lets not forget that this same government killed millions of turks and muslim minorities through negligent and racist policy, but government tries to blame this on other reasons too. Go to eastern turkey, syria and kurdistan for the truth. They still live under represented. Allen below is just a turkish jingo. He is the danger to his own society which is now 49% of rural turkey + 1.5 million mystery ballots turned in during this month’s voting in turkey

  10. allen says:

    When the Ottoman Government entered the ww1 in 1914 it had ruled Armenia for 400 years, turks and armenians lived together in peace for a long time.. And in one night, turks became bloody murderers wiping out the whole armenians 1.5 million population?What a hidden outrage – Really? We need to admit it: that was war, and those armenian people unfortunately had to be exiled – as they betrayed their own turkish neighbors-friends their own ottoman state where they had lived in peace for 4 centuries.. they were encouraged by British,French Russian imperialism that they’ll have their sea-to-sea promised lands.. That was a war – and both nations suffered a lot – from both sides lots of people were massacred-killed tortured. But, it was not a “Genocide” . Not a systematic ethnical cleansing – a big NO. Have you ever seen any unbiased debates for this armenian “genocide” from armenian historians ? No, right? Because none of Armenian historians discuss this from an objective view…None of armenian historians requested a debate to clarify this. When you search in detail with an unbiased mind, you’ll see that yes there was tear,grief of WW1 for both Turks and Armenians and all other nations.. but not a 1-way genocide/systematical cleansing of armenians. No. Period.

    It was a tremendous grief for both turks/armenians yes… but not a genocide…

    • Futrkey says:

      you’re a stupid uneducated looser

    • Turksultanoğlu says:

      Allen, learn to read arabıc and fınd a real hıstory book. You embarrass turkıshness by speakıng lıke thıs ın a publıc way. We turks are hospıtable people and we should not deny the armenıan genocıde. Thıs ıs a polıtıcal ıssue and you are fallıng ınto propoganda dıalogue between turkey and europe. Genocıde ıs a humanıtarıan concern. I understand that your stomach ıs closer to you than your brother. But dont eat your brother too. Be honorable

    • warrantone says:

      I don’t have to rely on historians. I rely on eye witnesses – my own grandparents. The stories they tell were of tremendous cruelty and systemic murder. In addition the most advanced nations on earth and the IAGC recognize these atrocities as genocide. Don’t mistake the inaction of some as genocide denial. They just have not taken a position. Unnecessary murdering of people simply for their ethnicity. For you to call it a simple exile is insane and outrageous. It was genocide. Some nations deny the holocaust. Did it happen? Absolutely. What proof do you have that Armenians betrayed anyone? NONE! You have nothing but an excuse for murder.

  11. Tunc Topra says:

    The Armenian population at the region was estimated to be 500,000 to 850,000! Therefore, to claim 1.5 million for war time casualties takes all the credibility away from the Armenian side of the story… Alleged Armenian “genocide” is nothing but a business for certain Armenians that is worth billions of dollars.

    • warrantone says:

      Not everyone is as simple as you are and you are a simpleton. If what you say is true than why have 28 nations and ten international organizations including the UN and IAGC recognized the murderous actions of your people as genocide? Don’t you think if your numbers were correct it would be a simple thing to find out? Statistics show that over 3 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire in 1878 and that 1.3 million lived in Western Armenia. Either you can’t read or you like to lie but the truth is out there.

      • allen says:

        @warrantone, When the Ottoman Government entered the ww1 in 1914 it had ruled Armenia for 400 years, turks and armenians lived together in peace for a long time.. And in one night, turks became bloody murderers wiping out the whole armenians 1.5 million population?What a hidden outrage – Really? that was war, and those armenian people unfortunately had to be exiled – as they betrayed their own turkish neighbors-friends their own ottoman state where they had been living in peace. they were encouraged by British,French Russian imperialism that they’ll have their sea-to-sea promised lands.. That was a war – and both nations suffered a lot – from both sides lots of people were massacred-killed tortured. But, it was not a “Genocide” . Not a systematic ethnical cleansing – a big NO. Have you ever seen any unbiased debates for this armenian “genocide” from armenian historians ? No, right? Because none of Armenian historians discuss this from an objective view…None of armenian historians requested a debate to clarify this When you search in detail with an unbiased mind, you’ll see that yes there was tear,grief of WW1 for both Turks and Armenians and all other nations.. but not a 1-way genocide/systematical cleansing of armenians. No. Period. And you say 28 countries recognized this so-called genocide… How many countries exist in the world ? 196 ?

  12. uscric says:

    97000 reviews on IMDB and hasn’t opened yet?????? That some hating

  13. warrantone says:

    This movie will present the truth – that Turks murdered 1.5-2 million Armenian Christians and the world turned its back.

  14. Do not be swayed away from seeing this movie. Make up your own mind.

  15. Jamie Claussen says:

    I cannot wait to see this. It will bring the world of my grandparents & other relatives to life. I have heard many stories of why they had to leave Armenia. They are gone now, but I remember all they said.

  16. trent says:

    Im sure it will set box office records because Americans care so much about Armenians. LOL

  17. frank says:

    I worked in Turkey for 20 months, I know this is a sore spot with them, but I am a firm believer in letting all the skeletons out of the closet. Not to beat up the Turks, but to let the world know we are share in the same incurable disease called Sin—-And God all offered us his one and only solution Jesus Christ.

    • trent says:

      Its cool how you guys compare kicking someones ass out the door with the systematic gassing of millions of people like vermin. It would be hard for the Germans to not deny considering the mounds of evidence and skeletons but I guess they are so swell for admitting their sins? Lets talk about how Armenians shut down every attempt at a film about Ataturk.

      • Turksultanoğlu says:

        The germans dıd not commıt the jewısh genocıde. It was a german polıtıcal party and all the ındıvıduals use archıtected thıs machıne. You cant blame a natıonal people… Especıal the general populatıon. That ıs crazy. So what we praıse ıs that germany accepts that theır countrıes government made thıs actıons. and to your poınt, Ataturk ıs consıdered the father of turkey. He made ımportant steps to brıng turkey ınto the modern era. Evrythıng he dıd was not rıght or wrong, but ıt was the fırst posıtıve step towards becomıng a utopıa. I dont lıke turkısh sayıng only bad thıngs ataturk. Ok no he ıs not god, he ıs human. But he ıs a smart human.

  18. Terann says:

    Well, i want to see the movie. Many people, should and want to know history facts of what has happen on that side of the world. Open up your mind, & stop being a one-sided narrow mInded human being.

  19. The Turkish government with its well established networks would obviously attempt to counter the publicity of PROMISE. Denial of the Armenian Genocide is a government policy with huge funding, influencing every aspect of public policy and international relations.
    It is crucial for everyone to realise that Turkey has more political prisoners that Iran and China put together.
    Do we really want to support or indeed give in to a country that has been ruled by tyrants, namely Erdogan and his predecessors.
    Think of all the journalists who put their life on the line, in order to report from war zones. Think of the role of media, to inform and enlighten the public. Giving in to the Turkish lobby equates the promotion of GENOCIE. Look at what has been happening in Syria and Iraq. ISIS would not have survived without receiving support from Turkey.
    Now think again, before making a decision on the distribution of PROMISE.

  20. ann odonnell says:

    You know this is a great movie….Director of Hotel Rwanda….epic story line….Christian Bale. Turkish government is FLOODING these sites with bad reviews before the film has even been released….The same thing happened to the Nicole Kidman film on the Turkish slaughter at Gallipoli and the British who tried to save the Armenians (Desert Queen). That movie was suspiciously intensely trashed and never released. 90% of the unfavorable reviews were cast by males OUTSIDE of the U.S. (where the film has not yet played)!!!!!

  21. Proud American-Armenian says:

    Can’t wait to see the film! The world needs to stop protecting Turkey and acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. We all know it happened no matter what the Turks say.

  22. Eva Medzorian says:

    BRAVO!!! I can hardly wait to see it. The Turks should welcome this video. Today’s Turkey can finally accept the true facts. The world will applaud their acceptance. Peace can finally come to region.

  23. Timmy says:

    Christian Bale is the worst actor ever

  24. ateliercdlr says:

    I JUST WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE. WHEN IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO SEE? WHEN?

  25. DEMETRIS A VELLIANITIS says:

    Dear IMDb,

    Yesterday I stumbled upon an article about a film called ‘The Promise’ and how it has received an unprecedented amount of negative reviews on your site. This film has been screened three times, one being at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11, 2016. And yet it has over 55,000 1-star reviews. How is that possible? This film is about a touchy subject for many because it centers around the time the Ottoman Empire carried out a genocide against the Armenian people. But since it is not possible that all these people have seen the film considering the simple fact that it has not been released anywhere yet, how can people leave negative reviews about a film they’ve never seen? In my humble opinion, it really questions your website’s credibility. This film was produced by someone who had a vision and his name was Kirk Kerkorian. He put many of his earnings on the line to put this movie into production. The director, Terry George, is one of the most renowned and respected in Hollywood. The cast is made up of countless brilliant actors. This film has quality written all over it and yet it is being unfairly rated down by people who haven’t seen it. It is a known fact that the Turkish government and people have been denying this genocide for over a century and are willing to go to great lengths for it to remain unrecognized. But to allow your website to become a weapon of Turkish denial and propaganda is not the standard that your company set for itself when IMDb was launched. Your website has always been a respectable portal of knowledge about all films of the world, so I am in real disbelief as to why a film that has not been released to the public is being defamed and downrated by Internet trolls. As I said, this whole situation just questions the validity of IMDb. Please do not allow this to keep happening. There are so many people who dedicated their time and effort to the making of this film. They spent millions of dollars to make it happen. This film tells a story of an event that the world needs to know about. And until people have the chance to see it with their own eyes and in turn draw their own conclusions, please do not allow this kind of spiteful rating to continue. Please do not let your site become another place of hateful political ranting. It only does you a great disservice.

    Sincerely,
    Demetrios Vellianitis

  26. Ken says:

    PLEASE READ THIS: “The film’s IMDb page has received more than 86,000 user votes, the bulk of them one-star ratings, despite the fact that the movie has had only three public screenings. (…) The filmmakers say reaction on social platforms has been equally intense.” This is a misunderstanding of what really happened on IMDB and the social forums. These were not real people, only so-called ‘SOCIAL BOTS’. It is well-known that the Turkish government hired in the last years 1000s of IT experts to influence social media and internet forums through Social Bot networks. These are programs that simulate real users, but are fake. Don’t make the mistake to think that those IMDB voters were real people.

  27. Aharonian says:

    No surprise. The Turkish lobbey is busy not just denying the atrocities of Genocide of million and half Armenians, the confiscation of historic Armenian lands, treasures, conversions to Islam, but also attempting to discredit documented facts in movies depicting the Genocide. Sadly by voting one star, they give the false impression that they know best. Thanks Mr. Kirkorian for your vision and funding, thanks to the director, producer, the photographers, the designers, and the actor/actresses for taking this project on.

  28. Kristine says:

    When “The Ptomise” will air in U.S. theaters?

  29. Barbara Parks says:

    Denying history does not change it! I hope the world and particularly the people of America have the opportunity to see this film and make their own judgments.

  30. I respect Mr Kerkorian,but unfortunately he was surrounded with the wrong people! I personally tried to convince him 40 years ago when he had both Columbia pictures and MGM/U.A. under his control to make such films and distribute them through United.Artists, unfortunately he chose to do it after he passed away! I dispute the notion that this film was his life’s long mission; if such was the case, he would have done it many times over decades ago when he was in a much better position for such undertaking, not to wait till you turn 98….

    • Futrkey says:

      Whats your problem haik assssaturian, who the fuck are you to tell Mr.Kerkorian what to do

    • Hacob V says:

      Is it a surprise that the most successful Armenian man in the world at that me did not want to hire someone like you? Classic self-absorbed Hollywood wanna-be. Mr. Kerkorian was likely running a business and focused on the success of that business at that time. Of course after all these years, all you can think about is how your sorry pitch was rejected instead of thinking about the big picture for Armenians in the world, censorship, and denial…and how nothing like this has ever been done before. I also wish I could have been a part of such a project — and unlike you, I work in this business – but I am grateful that they finally took it on…no matter how long it took them!

  31. Shushan says:

    Saying this, there are lot of Turkish Intellectuals who stand by this truth agains dictator Erdogan.

    • Shikari says:

      Let’s not forget that this isn’t a problem with Erdogan per se. He’s gone further towards acknowledging the genocide than any other Turkish leader since the foundation of the Republic, even though his so-called neo-Ottomanist position seems to have led him to prefer to defend the Turkish status quo now (and he finds it a useful tool in modulating relations with the EU). It was the People’s Republican Party (CHP), so many of whose members were deeply implicated in the genocide, who were the real pushers of genocide denial over the seventy years of their ascendency. This despite (or because of) the guilty verdicts in trials—generally in absentia—of leading perpetrators of the genocide immediately after the First World War, men who found it expedient to join with Mustafa Kemal in the struggle to found the Turkish Republic. It is a pity that Kemal was in sufficiently weak a position to require their help. The perpetrators were then naturally in a position to construct the historical narrative within Turkey in a way that whitewashed their own pasts.

      The big change is perhaps in Kurdish acknowledgement of the genocide and of the role of Kurds among others in the implementation of the genocide. And a new generation of Turkish academic historians who do acknowledge the genocide.

  32. Shushan says:

    Why is it ok to make a movie about the horrors of Holocaust, but it is not ok to make a movie about an Armenian Genocide? Oh wait I know! Because Germany is actually decent and accepted the terrible actions Hitler did. But Turkey is coward to own up to its mistakes. However, I know there is a GOD who watches silently and on the Judgement Day we will all answer to GOD.

  33. Joe Told says:

    1939 Adolf Hitler urged his generals to exterminate members of the Polish race. “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?” Hitler asked, just a week before the September 1, 1939 invasion of Poland. If the world had condemned and punished Turks for the Armenian Genocide, Hitler wouldn’t have the courage or support to commit the Jewish Holocaust! The Muslim jihadist wouldn’t have the courage to kill so many Christians as they are killing right now! Sad how history is repeating its self and nobody is willing to acknowledge it, instead Turkish trolls are denying the past, open your eyes world these animals are repeating the crimes of their ancestors! Just look at the facts, Turkey opened its borders allowed and supported Muslim jihadist to cross its boarder to join the jihad against Christians, and helped create Isis, supported isis financially by purchasing stolen oil!

  34. Faseli says:

    What Armenian’s are going to get out by having the whole planet apologizing for their Genocide more pride that the one you already got and the attitude to see people in an inferior way. Many Armenians are not friendly neither sociable with other people thats not their race. They don’t invite you to be part of their culture, they don’t offer a hand to stranger that is not Armenian, so how in the world we gonna understand Armenian attitude but yet they want people to vow to them. I have never seeing Armenians mingling among Whites,Blacks,Latin/Hispanics if they do, just while they need something out of them but to keep a friendship never, and will never happen they don’t accept no race but theirs only, is part their culture,their tradition how they were raised and they don’t change. NO MOVIE FROM GENOCIDE WILL TEACH THE WORLD ANYTHING BUT JUST ANOTHER TRAGEDY TO HUMANITY, LIKE ANY OTHER TERRIBLE MASSACRES THAT HAVE HAPPEN IN THE WORLD THE CIVIL WAR IN CENTRAL AMERICA EL SALVADOR SPECIFICALLY LEFT THOUSANDS DEAD WHO THEY REMEMBER THEM, PEARL HARBOR IN USA, HIROSHIMA JAPAN, AND OTHERS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT BUT YOU WANT TO MAKE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE ESPECIAL THAN ANYONE ELSE.

    • Elaine says:

      I am replying first to Mr. “Faseli” who reports that “Many Armenians are not friendly neither sociable with other people thats not their race…They don’t invite you to be part of their culture, they don’t offer a hand to a stranger.that is not Armenian… I THINK THESE COMMENTS NEED TO BE QUALIFIED IN THIS MANNER :THIS IS YOUR OPINION…MY GRANDMOTHER, MY MOTHER AND MY UNCLE WENT THROUGH AND WERE SURVIVORS OF THIS GENOCIDE THAT TOOK PLACE IN AROUND 1914. THEY WERE GIVING AND KIND TO ALL , THEY WERE HAPPY AND HONORED TO BECOME CITIZENS OF THE USA. YOU ARE MAKING HUGE ASSUMPTIONS AND DRAWING CONCLUSIONS THAT ARE NOT GROUNDED IN FACTS .THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IS NOT WELL KNOWN BECAUSE THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT WILL NOT OWN THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS MASSACRE AND BECAUSE WE (THE US) NEED TO MAINTAIN A SUPPORTIVE POSITION WITH THE TURKISH GOV’T TO PROTECT OUR MILITARY BASES IN TURKEY. IN MY OPINION WE ACT AS CO-DEPENDENTS IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM AND HAVE CAPITULATED TO THEIR DEMANDS TO DENY THIS “EVENT” BY AGREEING TO SILENCE ANY FILM MAKING OR PUBLICITY THAT DEMONSTRATES THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS PIECE OF HISTORY: THEREFORE MR. FASELI, I THINK THAT IT IS WONDERFUL AND VERY COURAGEOUS THAT THIS FILM HAS BEEN MADE…..YES MY DEAR SIR, IT IS NECESSARY TO …”make armenian genocide especial than anyone else” BECAUSE WE, AS ARMENIANS HAVE NEVER RECEIVED VALIDATION THAT THIS EVENT WAS REAL AND THAT IT DID TAKE PLACE AND THAT IT WAS NOT JUST A CIVIL UPRISING AS TURKEY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE WORLD BELIEVE. MY MOTHER WROTE AN ACCOUNT OF HER LIFE DURING THIS WAR…IT IS NOT PRETTY AND IT IS REAL. BY THE WAY, SIR, ARMENIANS ARE NOT A RACE…WE ARE AN ETHNIC GROUP AND ARE CAUCASIAN….WHICH IS THE “WHITE” RACE IF RACE IS SIGNIFICANT TO YOU. I CAN ONLY HOPE THAT YOU WILL MEET SOME REGULAR ARMENIANS AND EXPERIENCE THE KIND AND CARING BEHAVIORS THAT ARE VERY MUCH ARMENIAN…WE ARE HUMAN TOO…WE HAVE GOOD AND BAD DAYS AND GOOD AND BAD BEHAVIOR…WE DO NOT HAVE MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE CRIMINALS, HOWEVER. MAYBE SOMEDAY YOU WILL HAVE THE PRIVLIDGE OF BEING INVITED FOR DINNER AT AN ARMENIAN’S HOME….THERE YOU WILL WITNESS EXCELLENT FOOD AND A LOT OF LOVE AND WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO EAT PLENTY. WE ARE GREAT HOSTS AND LOVE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

    • John says:

      My father is an Armenian immigrant, whose family was forced out of Armenia and fled to Lebanon due to the genocide. At 17, he immigrated to the US with very little in his pocket and through his hard work and determination, he earned a degree and worked his way up through the Aerospace industry and eventually started his own manufacturing company in Mexico and Malaysia, which still stands today after 20+ years, employing up to 500 employees. He has supported families of many different ethnicities, but if you really want to crunch numbers, he has supported far more Mexican families than Armenian families, and even fluently speaks Spanish. In addition, he has put many Mexicans through college over the years by donating to local Universities in Mexico. If you really think about it and do a little research, Armenians have assimilated quite well relative to the short period of time we have been here as well as our small population in comparison with other immigrating ethnicities – our contributions to society have been a true asset to what the United States stands for – and to think many of them came from nothing whether it was taken from them or not. How many Armenians do you think were around in 70’s & 80’s? And how many of them worked in his industry? I’m sure you can guess, not very many. My father has had to work with all ethnicities across the board to get where he is today – a self made millionaire – and let me tell you, till this day, he stills supports as many people as he possibly can. There is another true story about Armenians that deserves a movie, and I guarantee you one day there will be. As diverse as the US is, we still need improvement. Denying facts and history to satisfy a politician’s agenda is morally wrong and unacceptable.

      Now, do you really believe the hate that you are spewing? When you make comments like that, you are no better than Donald Trump when he refers to all Mexicans as rapists. I strongly suggest you reevaluate your thought process for your own good because hate always breeds hate and you can begin by looking yourself in the mirror and realize what it is you are actually saying – because it’s greatly inaccurate.

      • Beckie Jani says:

        Hi Faseli, Ever been to New England? Visit Watertown, MA, or the Merrimack Valley (MA/NH). Many Armenians live here, even a few really old ones that survived the genocide as very young children. They have always been friendly and kind to us, as well as a lot of other people. And I am not Armenian.

    • Edward Z says:

      And how much has the Turkish government paid you for this comment? You’re absolutely correct. There is no way Armenian’s can be sociable with other races. Kirk Kerkorian became one of the most wealthiest business men in the world by only dealing with Armenians.

      You need to check your facts kid. With our tiny population, Armenians have contributed much more to the world than the majority of other races per capita. Here’s just a few…

      Inventor of the MRI – Raymond Vahan Damadian
      Inventor truck Mounted Revolving Concrete Drum Mixer – Stephan Stepanian
      Inventor Automated Teller Machine (ATM) – Luther George Simjian
      Father and pioneer of plastic surgery – Varazdat Kazanjian
      Inventor of the automatic transmission for automobiles – Asatour Sarafian

      and countless entertainers and athletes such as Andre Aggasi, Cher, Joe Manganiello, The Kardashian’s, Steve Sarkisian, David Nalbandian, Ara Parseghian, Jerry Tarkanian and much much more.

      Let me see you deny these facts just like the Turkish government has denied all the facts of the Genocide that occurred in 1915.

    • Reeves says:

      Faseli – it does not really matter what you think – I am sure you will be swept up by one of Erdogan’s purges soon enough as your country marches towards Islamo-fascism and soon a state in full cooperation of ISIS – that is if the Kurds don’t kick your back side fist.

      Now, take your computer off Cap Locks and go get your shine box.

  35. Mary81 says:

    I have all the knowledge and the eligibility to talk about this part of history as my grandfather was a survivor of these events. As I was growing with him he never spured any hatred, neither talked bad about the Turks. In fact, it was their turkish neighbours who saved them initially from the turkish army as they took my grandfather’s family in their home and hid them.
    History is there for whoever wants to learn it, we don’t need to be admonished by anyone. It’s good to know the facts and judge objectively, as the truth has many fathers. First you learn to see a fact from every angle and then you come to criticize.
    Ethnic cleansing and atrocities happened. Yes, it was real. As they happen right at this moment we are talking. It was WWI, the bloodiest in world modern history. Nations were shaping new borders, the great powers had invaded in the falling ottoman empire to claim grounds, and if you could hear people’s words from these days you would see that they were more furious with the British and the French than they were with the turks. They were betrayed more by their allies than the suspecetd enemy. At the end, everything went wild.
    There are many things to analyze but I am not going to do it right here with you, or anyone talking in that tone, because it does not differentiate them from the bigots I was talking about.
    The thing is that a movie which does not claim many artistic virtues has become a means for political discussions and controversies which is not appropriate. Nobody talks about cinema, especially the producers. People in the entertainment business should be more wary of such things.
    And I have a couple of questions. Why Mr Kerkorian didn’t order for such a movie to be made when he was a Metro Goldwyn Mayer boss and all the fuss is happening now? Why didn’t they adapt a well acknowledged book on the Armenian genocide for the script but instead went for a superficial romance story to depict such serious incidents?
    If someone made a film about my grandfather’s and his compatriots’ experiences and trauma that way, I am sure I wouldn’t be happy. I would need something more serious and profound, utterly moving and thought provoking in order to raise awareness to people who know little about this part of history. And moreover, I would like it to be frank, unbiased and hatred free.

  36. Mallen says:

    Is this a musical?

  37. Mary81 says:

    They have to ask themselves first if they have made a good movie worthy of viewing…I am suspecting, by the intensity of comments and declarations of the production, that the film is somehow biased and one sided, with a danger of stigmatising a whole young generation in Turkey who have nothing to do with their ancestors a century ago. I don’t think the problem is touching historical events, but rather the way you do it. Besides, this is claimed to be a story of three people with the historical events as a background, but I see nowhere any discussions about the real value of the movie, the direction, the cinematography, the performances. It’s all politics. This doesn’t really bother the large audiences around the world, especially at a time where other atrocities and wars take place in front of their eyes every day on the news.
    And yet there is a very subtle and technical, political thing about the recognition of the genocite. If there is an official acceptance of it, there will never be any chance for Turkey to enter or have partnership with the EU. This may not interest many people but it actually denies a whole generation, a very vibrant youth of turkey, to open up its horizons, to progress and come in touch with the other populations, cultures and knowledge. I am greek, I am supposed to talk against turkish people, but I will not. There are bigots, of course, in every side, but these are far less than the people who really want to make a change.
    That kind of ‘genocides’ are happening right now in many corners of the planet, why not invest money on solving real problems instead?
    Anyway, you don’t expect a movie to teach you history, but if it intends to so then it should do it decently and not through silly romances, which movie critics have claimed uninteresting. Distributors, above all, want to avoid the political hot potato and protect their businesses. Since the underlying motives of a movie have nothing to do with the movie per se, then they don’t care. That sounds logic.
    If we were talking about a masterpiece which gets censored then this would be a problem. Armenian genocide has been depicted in a few movies and books which were real gems and there was no problem. They just didn’t have A-list actors, but they had artistic depth.

    • Someone says:

      WOW, would you even give yourself the chance this same comment about what the Nazis did to the Jews. One sided ha? Read what Henry Margenthau (US ambassador) said. He was a US citizen a devote Jewish man with ambitions to expand his carrier. But despite all that he strongly advocated for the recognition during the Genocide with all his power but unfortunately not enough to stop the atrocities. Think about it, why would Greeks, Asyrians, Bulgarians, and Armenians claim the same thing about ONE nation and that one nation alone? Because they committed atrocities and they raped and killed. Go read about Cyprus, see when they invaded it from the Greeks as late as 1970s ? Go read and educate yourself. The worst thing are people who repeat the same mistakes over and over again. If we stop the deniers we have a chance of eradicating this type of events once and for all. WOW have you missed all the movies about what happened to the Jews in the WWII? Really ? have you not seen the power of media in educating people? Either you are really that unaware as you write or there is an agenda. I lean towards the second option. Eitherway may God bless you with an experience similar to what happened to the Christians during the 1915 and then I would like to hear you talking this way.

      • Mallen says:

        They would rather be nostalgic about what happened hundreds of years ago as if that was the only conflict in history where people fought There is carnage going on today under our noses…What are we doing? NOTHING. Somehow what happened to Armenians trumps everything else. Armenian grievances are against an Empire that does not even exist anymore. Ottoman Empire is gone. Should we condemn the current day Italians for what Romans have done or the Greeks for their indiscretions from 1000 years ago? Do we have nothing else worth of our attention and efforts that is more current than what happened to Armenians?

    • Altan says:

      We OWN the USA, period, Hollywood included.And you can do NOTHING about it.
      And the American people and government can do absolutely NOTHING to stop our progress in Turkey.
      Jews, Armenians, Kurds,Blacks, Greeks, Scotts and the Irish (all the loser peoples who want to have independence) all can go to HELL.
      Here is my advice to Americans:
      Get rid of all the peoples mentioned above from America, and America will become a BETTER place once again.
      Until then Jews ran everything and try to cram fake “genocide and holocaust” histories down your throat.
      The “genocide” Never happened.
      The “holocaust” happened in Hollywood movie studios.

      • Someone says:

        Are you sick? you certainly NEED professional help. No, I am sure you have never been told that. This ideology that you are HIDING here (just come out and say it), is an ideology of rape and plunder what is not yours and then dominate based on fear is DEAD. Did you hear me, it is dead and gone without return. You little ” ” (i DONT want to lower myself to your level, but imagine the word that I would like to put there) call the Greeks and Armenians losers? hey dumbo they built CIVILIZATIONS when you were an angry killing tribe in the cold north. You NEVER had a land never. You need to go back to were you came from. Or actually with DNA test if I were you I would take one, you probably are the fruit of RAPE so you should be the first to come out and renounce this. And listen to this one America is the LAND OF FREE not land of rapists. If anything narrow minded pieces of …. like you need to go back from where they came from. Nothing will fix you, not the education given to you in the US not the knowledge that is prevalent in this land unless you put that ideology behind you. There is some hope I have seen with your third and fourth generations when I meet them in universities. They actually come up and apologize to us and say that they disagree with their ancestors. The first generation however digs its heels deep in the mud as usual. So good luck to you.

      • Henry Goldstein says:

        fuck you, fuck your whole family and ancestry mother fucker.

  38. Zohrab says:

    This is what happens when you are reduced to relying on Hollywood to educate the masses of something that should be thought in history class.

  39. jack aiken says:

    I am very surprised that in 2016 we are still being intimidated by the perpetrators of the 1st Genocide od the 20 century,,,,,The Turkish Government needs to face it’s dark past….Until it does, there will never be democracy in that country….Part of the hold up for admission into the EU has to do with this subject….Recently, Germany took ownership and apologized to the Armenian people for their role in helping the Ottoman Army with logistics and other support….Erdogan is a dictator so the push to acknowledge past crimes will have to come from the people!

  40. Marcia Lemos says:

    No one country or Government owns the truth. But the historical research shoes plenty of evidence of the intentional killing of Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and other Christian peoples.

  41. Bob shemeligian says:

    Denial is the last phase of genocide.

  42. Patriot says:

    Great Movie. “Veritas nunquam perit”

  43. Rex says:

    To be fair, the MetaCritic score on this film WAS a lowly 38, with bad reviews and poor grades from most of the major critical organs (including this one), so the voting appears to track with that even though it’s clearly a complete sham.

    This article is right about one thing: IMDb is PLAGUED by fake voting, and on far more movies than just this one. The written user reviews, at least for now, appear to be legit, it typically clouded by the TIFF “experience”, but clearly the “star rating” feature should’ve been disabled until the film was in wider release.

    Incidentally, look up some of the many no-budget filmmakers whose barely-screened, not-yet-publicly-available pictures — many of which are truly horrible even if they DON’T have Michael Madsen in them — are quickly bestowed thousands of 8- to 10-star ratings and glowing reviews of suspiciously similar length at IMDb. As with Yelp and other online review sites with lax standards, companies actually exist now that can be PAID to do this work on behalf of your film. I wouldn’t be surprised if the page for The Promise is eventually flooded with bogus reviews in an effort to slant the consensus this way or that.

    The producers may be right in crying politics, but there’s always the possibility that they’ve simply got another Inchon on their hands.

  44. Onder Alkan says:

    Well, if your topic is lie, I’m sorry but you can’t distribute that movie.

    • jack aiken says:

      Your a Turk who has been poisoned and fed lies to by the Turkish Government….Nothing was ever taught in your schools and as matter fact, when one visits our homeland in today’s Eastern Turkey, the word “Armenian” is not mentioned anywhere linking our historical sites to its origin. Armenians inhabited their homeland since 1000BC…..This is 2 thousand years before any of your Mongols appeared in the territory!

    • The Truth says:

      While there is abjectly disingenuous controversy regarding whether or not the term “genocide” is warranted with regard to this issue, there is substantial independent evidence — as well as acknowledgment from contemporaneous Turkish public officials — of wholesale deportations and massacres of more than one million Ottoman Armenians, Kurds, and other Christians by the Turkish government beginning in the late 19th century and into the 20th. Even the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, referred to the atrocities as “a shameful act.” So if the topic of this movie is a “lie,” it’s the ongoing lie of the Turkish government about the politically and religiously motivated systematic extermination committed at their behest. They don’t want to own it because to do so could open up a costly reparations can of worms. Instead, when the subject is broached, threats, hate campaigns, and revenge killings have been the response.

      Unfortunately, The Promise does not do its worthy subject artistic justice, and its failure to create and craft a compelling cinematic experience that will move modern audiences is the principal reason for its distribution problems.

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