The first screening of “The Promise,” a movie about Armenian Genocide, took place Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival. Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry George, actors Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Le Bon as well as famous musician Serj Tankian, who is lead singer of the world-renowned American Armenian rock band System of a Down (SOAD) and composer of the soundtrack of this movie, “shone” on the red carpet event for the premiere of “The Promise.” Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Le Bon are starring in the movie.
The actions of the movie develop during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, in 1922. Chris, an American, is a correspondent of the Associated Press, driven by the military situation, despite the fact that the world is falling apart around him. Michael (Mikayel), a medical student, who is torn between his feelings and his commitment to the Armenian traditions.
Both are in love with beautiful Ana. Oscar Isaac (Michael in the movie) came to the premiere with a forget-me-not clipped to his suit, an emblem of the Armenian Genocide’s centennial. After the premiere, Oscar Isaac gave an interview to The New York Times (live broadcasted through Facebook), in which he spoke about the film.
Later, he attended the conference with the team (Charlotte Le Bon, Oscar Isaac, Angela Sarafyan, Marwan Kenzari (only Christian Bale wasn’t present), Shohreh Aghdashloo, producer Eric Esrailian), and the director Terry George Ress.
“I read a lot about that … I had some eye witnessed accounts from survivors, and I think that they are incomprehensible, as far as I even begin to imagine that experience,” said 37-year-old Isaac. Unlike Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon , who acknowledged the fact that they did not know about the Armenian Genocide , 64 -year-old American- Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo was familiar with the history of the Armenian Genocide.
“I am pretty familiar with the case. I was born and raised in Iran until the age of 25 and lived next to millions of Armenians. They even taught me how to speak Armenian and count մեկ, երկու, երեք…Another thing that attracted me is the fact that it is a timeless story. While we were filming it, we were watching Syrians walking miles to get to a safe place on CNN every night. I immediately called my agent, and said I want to do this.”
In her turn, Angela Sarafian acknowledged that after she had read the script , she felt the spirit of Komitas in the story , who together with hundreds of Armenian intellectuals was arrested on April 24 of 1915 .
“ Being an Armenian, when I read the script, I saw the qualities of an Armenian man, Michael. Along with the fictional elements of the characters, there are a lot of Armenianness in all of them. That’s what makes the movie really special. You feel it when you read the lines from the script, and I at times got goose from it. You see Komitas , who is pretty much was the spirit of the story,” said Angela Sarafyan.
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