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
War for the Planet of the Apes
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Brings the Series to a Masterful End

Nobody expected the revitalized series based upon Planet of the Apes...

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography
‘The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography’ Presents A Kinder, Gentler Errol Morris

Over the course of his career, director Errol Morris has made...

Okja
Bong Joon Ho’s ‘Okja’ is Netflix’s First Cinematic Masterpiece

At its premiere at Cannes this year, Bong Joon Ho’s Okja...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
sega genesis
New Atari 2600/Sega Genesis Consoles & Handhelds Coming this Fall

AtGames has announced its Fall 2017 lineup of classic gaming hardware...

Hunt: Showdown
[E3] What I think of Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown

Hunt: Showdown is an absolutely gorgeous game that pairs hunters together...

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown
Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown VR E3 Experience

Ace Combat 7 Skies Unknown VR E3 Experience Ace Combat 7...

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
9.0/10
Marvin Attacks!

Title: Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian Writers: Steve Orlando and Frank J....

9.5/10
The Only One Who can Help the Legion of Super-Heroes is…Bugs Bunny!?!

Title: Legion of Super-Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 Writer: Sam Humphries Penciller: Tom...

8.3/10
Oh Ya! The Holofoil Covers are Back for Dark Days: The Forge!

Title: Darks Days: The Forge #1 Writers: Scott Snyder and James...

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
Star Trek Crew Edition Pens
Discover Star Trek with 3Doodler’s Star Trek Crew Edition Pen

We can’t move up the Star Trek: Discovery premiere date, but...

July Loot Gaming
The July Loot Gaming Crate is themed CHAMPION

The July Loot Gaming Crate is themed CHAMPION and features: League...

hitcase pro
Hitcase Pro 2.0 – The Ultimate iPhone Case

Hitcase Pro 2.0 is a successful campaign on Kickstarter. Hitcase Pro...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator Announces Broadcast Duties For Historic Event At Madison Square Garden On Saturday, June 24

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES – With the recently announced...

Paul Banasiak Eyes the Cruiserweight Title for Lion Fight 37

Editors Note: The Interview was originally conducted by Lion Fight Staff....

‘Rumble On The Water’ 1 Sinks the Competition

  June 9, 2017 – Rumble On The Water is a...

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...?
GTA Online Updates
How Long Will GTA Online Updates Continue To be Free? – Evans & Gibbs

A special guest post from Richard Evans and Matt Gibbs, who breaks...

It’s time to rest ‘The Voice.’ Michael Schiavello, We Miss You Already

In December of 2008, I had decided to switch satellite providers...

Free comic book day
Comics on the Can: Free Comic Book Day 2017

In which  I reveal my thoughts about this year’s Free Comic...

Event News Event Reviews
First Ever AX Pre-Show Comes Out Strong

From Anime Expo – Santa Ana, CA – 6/26/2017. In the...

Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con Partner’s with Entertainment Weekly as Their Official Media Partner

From Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con – LOS ANGELES (June 23,...

Romy and Michele was Well Worth the 30 Year Wait to Reemerge on Stage

Roughly 30 years ago, the two quirky friends first appeared on...

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...