Apr 28, 2017
There are few more horrific events in human history than the Armenian Genocide, in which more than 1.5 million Armenians were systematically executed or forced into mass deadly deportation by the Ottoman Empire starting on April 24, 1915. For more than a century since, their descendants have sought justice by asking nations worldwide to condemn the slaughter through officially calling it a genocide.
Their hope is to force Turkey, which was formed after the collapse of the Ottomans in 1923, to officially acknowledge the term as well and fully admit the evil that was perpetrated by the Empire. While 29 nations have supported the effort, the U.S. government is not among them, due to political complications.
The film "The Promise," released last Friday in advance of Armenian Remembrance Day on April 24, is a fresh reminder of the horrors that millions suffered. Much like "Titanic" used a fictional romance as a means of providing an emotional center for the tragic sinking of the legendary ocean liner, the new movie uses a love triangle in an attempt to draw viewers in emotionally amid the epic scope of its horrors.
The film focuses on an Armenian apothecary named Mikael (Oscar Isaacs), who has become engaged for an arranged marriage in order to use the large dowry to pay for attending medical school. He dreams of being his village's first modern doctor, but soon after moving in with his uncle in Constantinople, he meets and falls for a more glamorous Armenian woman named Ana (Charlotte LeBon), who is the girlfriend of an American reporter for the Associated Press named Chris (Christian Bale).