Survival Pictures Truly Keeps ‘The Promise’ Alive

“The greatest revenge is surviving,” said Maral (Angela Sarafyan) in the most accurate film to date regarding the Armenian Genocide, called The Promise.

When the film was announced for the Toronto Film Festival, I regretted not making the trip to Canada as this story has a very personal impact on my life. The Promise follows Mikael Bogosian (Oscar Isaac), an Armenian medical student from Siroun, Turkey, who moves to Constantinople, using the dowry given to him by Maral’s father to fund his education in order for them to marry upon his return to the village.

While in Constantinople, Mikael meets Associated Press journalist, Chris Myers (Christian Bale) and his cousins’ tutor, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), an Amrenian ballerina who wins his heart, creating a love triangle pulling Ana between traditional ties and a life in the Western World.

As Turkey joins forces with Germany, the nationalism amongst the Ottomans’ strengthen their hatred of the ethnic minorities against the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, leading to the the mass genocide of 1.5 million Armenians, 950,000 Greeks and 750,000 Assyrians, totally roughly 3.5 million Christians who were lost to the Ottoman Sultan and later under Mustafa Atatürk and his Young Turks.

What The Promise is able to show are the horrors of genocide. Images of hangings, shootings and death marches get the point across marvelously without being gruesome, allowing for audiences of all ages to watch this historically accurate, heart wrenching film.

I have to admit, when I heard the film was starring Oscar Isaac, I thought it was another Hollywood attempt at “Brown Brushing” all ethnic characters with olive pigmentation by placing them on a color chart and saying, “He’s dark/light enough.” However, after seeing Isaac’s performance I feel no one else could have played Mikael Bogosian and if he does not win the Independent Spirit Film award for best actor, then he will be most certainly robbed.

What makes this story ever so significant to me is that I am an Assyrian on my father’s side. I remember sitting in a smoke filled living room with my grandfather, who would tell me about the Assyrians and Armenians that were marched across the Iranian border and how my great grandfather’s family helping the survivors with food, shelter and other provisions.

I remember my Lebanese mother telling me of my maternal grandfather who was orphaned during the genocide, losing both parents and four older brothers to the war as well as an older sister who was kidnapped, forced to be a child bride by her captors. My grandfather and one remaining sister were sent to live with my great aunt who was my great grandmother’s identical twin sister. Imagine being 4 years old, your mother is dead in front of you, then you have to live with a person who looks exactly like her, but isn’t her. This is a small sample of what happened not just to my family but countless others.

There has been a lot of intermixing between Armenians and Assyrians as we had survived these horrific events. Our two peoples know all too well of these stories, especially the tragic ending to Maral in the film where she was slit open from her womb as the unborn child was impaled on a bayonet.

The final stand is made at Mageh Doodah, Turkey, where the Armenians escape with the help of the French Navy in order to find refuge in Lebanon and Egypt. My training partner Richard’s family were part of that last stand at Mageh Doodah, which adds to the personal experience many like him will feel.

The Promise opens nationwide on Friday April 21, 2017.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Riley Keough
Riley Keough Explains Her Revved Up Work in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’

Over the past few years, few actors have had such a...

Brett Gelman Janicza Bravo
Brett Gelman and Janicza Bravo Discuss the Off-Putting Humor Behind ‘Lemon’

The new film Lemon from director Janicza Bravo and co-writer and...

‘Baywatch’ Washes Ashore August 29th

The movie adaptation of Baywatch had everything going for it…casting-wise. You...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
This Week In Gaming News August 12th to 18th 2017

Gaming News will be streamlined into a weekly piece starting next...

Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within
Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within Episode One Available Now

Define your own Bruce Wayne and reshape The Joker in the...

atgames
AtGames Announces Pre-orders for New Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis

Pre-orders started for the new Atari Flashback 8 Gold and Sega...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
viz
VIZ Media Announces New Digital Manga Content For August Update

VIZ Media details digital manga updates for August highlighted by the...

viz
VIZ Media Announces New Manga and Literary Acquisitions At Anime Expo

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), a premier company in the fields of...

9.0/10
Supergirl Makes Contact in ‘Supergirl Being Super’

Title: Supergirl Being Super #4 Writer: Mariko Tamaki Artist: Joelle Jones...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Ay Caramba!Penny Skateboards Join Up with The Simpson’s

After 30 years, 618 episodes (and counting), 32 Emmy Awards, and...

Sensei 310
SteelSeries Sensei 310 and Rival 310 Gaming Mice

SteelSeries Unveils the First, True 1-to-1 Esports Gaming Mouse Sensor Exclusively...

Alter Ego Release Groot and Deadpool for SDCC

From Alter Ego – Cary, NC: Florida based lifestyle accessories company,...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Mayweather and McGregor Previous Fights Now On Demand on Cable, Plus Interviews, Workouts and More

From iN DEMAND – New York, Aug. 17 – Before the...

Rumble on the Water 2 Delivers Punching Power

July 29, 2017 – Long Beach, CA – The Queen Mary...

UFC Star Jon ‘Bones’ Jones Releases Emoji App – BonesMoji

From BonesMoji – Los Angeles, CA., July 27, 2017 – One...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
CULTURAL JUNK DRAWER SDCC 2017 86.3% TRUE RECAP!

A totally true recap of the most important geek cultural even...

Comics on the Can: Schick Hydrobot and the Transformers

Written by John Barber, Pencils by Steve Kurth, Inks by Juan...

Star Wars Themed Lands Will be the Perfect Safe House for the Rebellion and the First Order

Disney’s D23 Expo has revealed a lot of what is to...

Event News Event Reviews
The Third Annual ‘BeerX’ from 91X in San Diego Featured Sunburns and Beer Goggles

This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by...

anime film festival
LA-Anime Film Festival Kicks Off to Celebrate 100 Years of Anime Films

Los Angeles Anime Film Festival (LA-AFF), presented by international creative company...

stan lee
Extraordinary: Stan Lee at The Saban Theatre

Comedian, Nerdist CEO, and podcast extraordinaire Chris Hardwick will lead a roster of...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Lahna Turner’s ‘Limeade’ is a Hilariously Haunting Comedy Album

Many people are roll their eyes at the idea of musical...

Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

Sabroso Fest, How can you go Wrong with Beer, Tacos and Lucha Libre!?!(Photo Gallery)

The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco and Music Festival sponsored by 95.5...