A very important movie came out recently named The Promise. Starring Oscar Isaak, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale and other meaningful performers, The Promise is about the Turkish government’s brutal genocide of Armenian people. Such a weighty subject for a film is very difficult to make, because there has to be a balance between historical documentary and the humanistic singular relationships of people. The pain for all involved with this film must have been truly magnanimous and their effort to make this come to fruition should be commended.
My wife and I went to watch this movie on April 24th, 2017, 102 years since the Turkish government arrested 200 Armenian community leaders in Constantinople. We saw The Promise in United Artists Riverview Plaza Stadium 17, Philadelphia, PA.
Before going to the movie, we knew that there would be many moments where tears would run down from our eyes. My father was Armenian and my wife is Spanish. We both felt the pain through different eyes. For me, it was a reminder of my father’s stories about our relatives and my knowledge of the subject. For my wife, it was a pain of seeing all those people ruthlessly and savagely tormented and tortured by the Turkish government for their own glorification and power. Thus, any person can watch this movie and relate to it one way or another.
The acting in this film is superb. Mr. Isaac flourishes in many ways. Through his journey, you can find a person who is still young in many ways of dealing with the situations of life. But as the historical context unfolds, you see his character, Mikael Boghosian, grow into a person who becomes brave. His luck of not dying reminded me of my grandfather Arshak, who found ways to escape being killed so many times during those same times. Charlotte Le Bon (Ana Khesarian) performed so beautifully. She had the perfect mix of tenderness and strength that was reminiscent of my great grandmother Rosa Parsadanova, who became a widow at age 25 and never remarried. My great grandmother shot three Turkish brutes defending herself and her honor. Christian Bale (Chris Myers) was great in this film, because you can tell how broad his character truly is. He saw the brutality done by the Turkish government and did not let his ego ruin his path and bravery. What was going on in the world was much bigger than his own situation and the fact that he looked passed the sad actions done by his girlfriend Ana showed to me that he was an incredible character. There was also an incredible performance by Marwan Kenzari (Emre Ogan), who was Mikael’s Turkish friend. His personality was free and happy, but his father was a different story. Emre helps Mikael and Chris in difficult times and his fate is a difficult one.
Not all Turkish people were and are for the horrific behavior shown by the Turkish government. As demonstrated at an early age when I met a Turkish person who worked in Twin Donut, New York City. He was, to this day, one of the most kindest persons I have ever met and known. He was always so attentive towards people and our family. I was lucky to have been around this person. This helped me not to have hatred towards every Turkish person. I do have deep pain towards those who killed 1.5 million Armenians. During that era, the Turkish government, and those who were willing to kill others for their own glorification, will never be able to right a wrong. Their existence should only be remembered as a reminder of how not to be as a human being.