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Film Review: "The Armenian Genocide"

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  • Film Review: "The Armenian Genocide"

    By Jeff Klemzak

    Glendale News Press, CA
    April 24 2006

    Written, produced, and directed by film maker Andrew Goldberg,
    "The Armenian Genocide" is a well researched, well paced, and rather
    interesting historical documentary. The film deals, for the most part
    with events that unfolded in Turkey during and just after the First
    World War.

    Although Armenian people had lived in eastern Anatolia for centuries,
    the overwhelmingly Muslim population had never allowed the Christian
    Armenians to be truly integrated into Turkish society. Armenians
    lived under restricted citizenship and were not permitted, among
    other things, to join the military. When Armenians protested these
    restrictions at the end of the 19th century the Turkish government
    responded with violence and more restrictions.

    By 1915 things had begun to further unravel for the Armenians. World
    War I had broken out and Turkey sided with Germany and the
    Austro-Hungarian Empire. Armenian partisans however, aligned themselves
    with Russia. The Turkish government, in an effort to rid themselves
    of a "hostile" population within its own borders issued deportation
    orders. For the unfortunate Armenians, the deportation quickly became
    a death march and later, it further descended into an extermination
    process, long before the phrase "ethnic cleansing" came into use.

    Since that time, the survivors of this nightmare have, through a
    lengthy Diaspora, established "homelands" in France, Lebanon, and in
    the United States.

    As explained in the documentary, Armenians, some ninety years after the
    fact, are victims of "incomplete grief." This is because the current
    Turkish government has steadfastly refused to admit wrongdoing in this
    sordid affair and without an admission of guilt many Armenians find it
    difficult, even after all these years, to put this issue behind them.

    This documentary appears to have been made as an appeal to the public
    to put pressure on the Turkish government to own up to its role in
    those bloody days of almost a century ago and because of this I think
    it is fair that an audience be made aware that the film maker has
    chosen sides in a sensitive political issue.

    The film was presented as unrated with a running time of approximately
    one hour.

    Jeff Klemzak is a history buff who has always enjoyed a good