Terry George is not afraid to bring stories of controversial genocides to the big screen. He has previously told the story of the recent Rwandan genocide is his compelling Hotel Rwanda film and now this time he takes on the much older, but more controversial topic of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 with The Promise.
The genocide is still a hotly debated and controversial piece of history which is fiercely denied by the Turkish government and gained little recognition from many countries and yet, is a huge issue for everyone of Armenian heritage who were affected by the events. History doesn’t lie, though in some cases, people think it does. Indeed, as a fan of Armenian-American band System of a Down, it’s a topic they are fiercely passionate at letting the world know about the atrocities that occurred. As a non-political site, I don’t want to divulge too much and would rather leave you to go and do your own research on the topic to make up your own mind.
And this film is already proving to be controversial before it has even been released. The film has already been fiercely down-rated on movie database IMDB, before a plea from SOAD lead singer Serj Tankian on his Facebook page to fans and supporters of the Genocide to improve the films rating. At the time of writing the film is currently sitting on a score of 3.5/10 and this from people who have never even seen the film and simply rating it on whether they are pro or anti the Armenian genocide claims.
It’s all a little silly and one of the reasons why I never actually use IMDB rankings when looking at movies, because it’s just too open for manipulation such as this. Why can’t people judge the film based on its merits than on either side on its political message. However enough of the politics and pointlessness of IMDB scores and back to the film itself, which actually looks rather good.
The Promise stars Oscar Isaac as an Armenian apothecary (Google it Trevor, it is a word) who finds himself caught up in growing tension between his people and the Turkish authorities in and around mid-1910s Constantinople. Christian Bale plays an American reporter who along with his Armenian girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon) are embroiled in the conflict as nationalism, racism and ethnic tensions within the Ottoman Empire spill into first violence and then slaughter.
It’s certainly a challenging topic to bring to the film and one which the George seemingly bring across with lots of passion:
On the merits of the trailer along, this definitely looks like a film worth seeing. Strong, compelling performances by the cast and a strong emotionally charged portrayal that is brought across well in the trailer. Regardless of your political stance on the matter, this certainly looks like a film worth watching.
And when it does come out, do yourself a favour and steer clear of social media and sites like IMDB and find a proper professional reviewer for this one.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.
Last Updated: September 14, 2016