The Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century. It was a key moment on the repetition of similar tragedies in the future, Terry George – the Armenian Genocide themed movie director said during Charlie Rose talkshow.
Asked when and why the Genocide took place, he said during the Word War I the Ottoman Empire government made a decision to eliminate the Armenian population. “They used the cover of the war between Turks and Russians to say that Armenians must be removed from the war zone. The Armenians were walked to deaths or massacred in rivers, fields, droned at sea. This was the first genocide of the 20th century. The word ‘genocide’ came to describe this event,” he said.
Asked why the United States doesn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide, Terry George said Turkey has an enormous strategic inuence on the US. He recalled that previously shootings of the Armenian Genocide movies were ceased.
“Twice attempts were made to make a film about the Forty Days of the Musa Dagh, but the Turkish government put pressure on the State Department and studios, thwarting the attempts of the movie shooting. It’s been one of the great unknown catastrophes of the 20th century,” he said.
He recalled that Barack Obama before elected as President, promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but then he didn’t keep his promise. “His last comment was that ‘my opinion of the event hasn’t changed’, but, the “g” word could not be spoken. And Ambassador Samantha Power was unable to say the “g” word either, even though she wrote a book, ‘A problem from Hell’, where she highlighted the Armenian Genocide as the beginning of the American government’s reaction to this events,” the movie director said, stating that he doesn’t see any change on the attitude of Turkey’s government and the new US administration over the Armenian Genocide.
Actress Angela Sarafyan talked about her role in the movie, as a traditional Armenian woman living in a small village. “I was lucky enough to play this Armenian traditional woman being Armenian myself. Both my mother and my grandmother were vivid examples of this. This film, this story was very very personal for me since I’ve heard the stories from my ancestors about how they survived,” she said.