NEW YORK—The documentary “The Armenian Genocide” presents the complete story of the first Genocide of the 20th century – when over a million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I. This award-winning and critically acclaimed one-hour film, originally aired on PBS in 2006, will be distributed to public television stations across the United States in April 2015 (check local listings) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Genocide. The film’s re-release is made possible by the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America, Eastern Region. The film was written, directed and produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Andrew Goldberg of Two Cats Productions.
The starting date of the Armenian Genocide is historically noted as April 24, 1915, when Ottoman authorities arrested approximately 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople. As Armenians worldwide mark the 100th anniversary this year, broadcasts of “The Armenian Genocide” offer a powerful accounting of the Genocide. The documentary, filmed in the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and Syria, features interviews with the leading experts in the field such as Pulitzer Prize-winning US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and New York Times best-selling author Peter Balakian, as well as historical footage of the events and discussions with Kurdish and Turkish citizens in modern-day Turkey who speak openly about the stories told to them by their parents and grandparents. “The Armenian Genocide” is narrated by Emmy winner Julianna Margulies and includes historical narrations by actors Ed Harris, Natalie Portman, Laura Linney and Orlando Bloom, among others.
The 2006 premiere of “The Armenian Genocide” on PBS received extraordinary reviews and coverage in almost every major newspaper in the US including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. The NJ Star Ledger called it “…serious, literate and ultimately heartbreaking.” Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times described it as a “powerful” film that “…honors the victims of the Genocide.” The film, which was screened at the US Congress in an event hosted by three U.S. Representatives, aired on networks in Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Finland and many other countries. The film’s television premiere also generated massive outcry, as the Turkish government denies that a genocide occurred, and maintains this position steadfastly to this day. The Government of Turkey wrote a scathing letter to PBS condemning the film’s distribution, and Congressional Representatives spoke out on both sides of the issue.
“What the word ‘Genocide’ connotes is a systematic campaign of destruction. If you simply call the horrors of 1915 ‘crimes against humanity’ or ‘atrocities,’ it doesn’t fully convey just how methodical this campaign of slaughter and deportation really was, and I think that’s why historians look at the record and they really can come to no other conclusion but that this word, Genocide, applies to this methodical campaign of destruction,” said Samantha Power at the time of the film’s initial release.
The Armenian Genocide was made possible by John and Judy Bedrosian, The Lincy Foundation, The Avanessians Family Foundation, and The Manoogian-Simone Foundation.