Opening this Friday April 21st “The Promise” is a story inspired by true events and brings the Armenian Genocide to the big screen during World War 1. The film was a passion project for the late Kirk Kerkorian who once Metro Goldwyn Mayer who financed the $100Million dollar film through Survival Pictures, a company he set up with Eric Esrailian. The film had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and had some trouble seeking distribution due to its content regarding the backdrop of the film. The Armenian Genocide that occurred during World War 1 is still a touchy subject with Turkish officials since they still deny the systematic killings of 1.5 Million Armenians. You can see that some studios may have business matters in Turkey and do not want to stir the pot. The film did find distribution and it will be seen at a theatre near you this weekend.
The film stars Academy Award winners Oscar Issac and Christian Bale alongside Charlotte Le Bon who find themselves in a sort of love triangle as the Ottoman Empire begins to target the Aremenian’s and other ethnic minorities and join forces with Germnany to begin a violent turn in history. We are putting together in honor of the film highlighting someone we admire and would stand up for and quite possibly have to save their life by putting yours at risk. Current events here in the US have begun to mirror some dark time in history and many of us may find our selves standing up for what we believe in and even standing up for someone we love or a complete stranger. I admire all those that have chosen to stand up and speak their minds during these times. We cannot let history repeat itself and therefore we must do what we must in order to ensure that it doesn’t. Many who speak up have come from countries where they were not permitted to speak their mind for fear of death or imprisonment for them and their families. Here in the US we can still exercise our freedoms without those direct fears. These are the people I admire and would put myself in harms way in order to protect them. Who do you admire? How far would you go to protect them?
It is 1914. As the Great War looms, the mighty Ottoman Empire is crumbling. Constantinople, the once vibrant, multicultural capital on the shores of the Bosporus, is about to be consumed by chaos.
Michael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), arrives in the cosmopolitan hub as a medical student determined to bring modern medicine back to Siroun, his ancestral village in Southern Turkey where Turkish Muslims and Armenian Christians have lived side by side for centuries. Photo-journalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale), has come here only partly to cover geo-politics. He is mesmerized by his love for Ana (Charlotte le Bon), an Armenian artist he has accompanied from Paris after the sudden death of her father.
When Michael meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men. As the Turks form an alliance with Germany and the Empire turns violently against its own religious and ethnic minorities, their conflicting passions must be deferred while they join forces to survive even as events threaten to overwhelm them.
Promises are made and promises are broken. The one promise that must be kept is to live on and tell the story.
THE PROMISE is directed by Academy-Award winner Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, Hart’s War).