Turkish Company Battles Censorship over Movie ‘Ararat’

(AFP)–A Turkish film company has launched a legal battle for the right to show uncensored a movie on the mass killings of Armenia’s under the Ottoman Empire–a company official said Wednesday.

Belge Film has appealed a decision by a cinema watchdog committee which ruled that the movie — "Ararat" by Canadian director Atom Egoyan–could be shown in Turkish theaters only if certain parts were cut–Aysegul Cetin–one of the company’s owners–told AFP. "We are not intending to show it if censored… We will resort to all legal means to prevent that," she said.

The film by Egoyan–an ethnic Armenian–deals with the estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family–who are faced with both Turkey’s denial of genocide and their individual plights.

The cinema watchdog has decided to cut scenes depicting Ottomans raping Armenian women–said Cetin–who for her part believes that the genocide accusations against Turkey are "rubbish."

"But we want to prove that a movie can’t do any damage. . . We want to break the phobia of the Turkish people," she said.

In another pioneering move–Belge Film in 2001 imported and distributed the first Kurdish language film in Turkey–"The Time of the Drunken Horses" by Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi.


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