In commemoration of the Armenian Genocide which is recognized worldwide each year in April, the acclaimed documentary “Crows of the Desert – A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide” (“Crows”) will screen at the Duarte Performing Arts Center (PAC) on April 4 at 7 p.m. Doors open with a reception at 6:00pm. QA with members of the filmmaking team will follow the screening. Free admission. Tickets may be obtained in advance at Eventbrite.com or at the door, as space allows.
This screening is co-sponsored by L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger (5th District), the City of Duarte and the LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF). This screening also coincides with the 3rd annual declaration of “Armenian History Month” in the County of Los Angeles, by the LA County Board of Supervisors (LACBOS). In March 2017, LAHIFF selected “Crows” for its annual film festival and brought the documentary to the attention of Supervisor Janice Hahn (4th District) and Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The LACBOS honored “Crows” in April 2017 with commendations and the documentary inspired the LACBOS to declare April to be the first “Armenian History Month” ever, in LA County history.
To date, “Crows” has been an official selection of twenty two film festivals and won or been nominated in over half of those. In London it won a prestigious Focal Intl. Award, the most important in the world for films using archival footage. Last month the film screened in the 36th Annual Sonoma State University Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series, which is one of the most outstanding of its kind, in the country.
“Crows of the Desert – A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide” is the incredible true story of one man’s brave struggle to stay alive and help save the Armenian people from near extinction in the 20th Century’s first genocide. World War One engulfed the Middle East, as Lawrence of Arabia fought side by side with the Arabs against the Ottomans. Caught up in the chaos, our hero Levon Yotnakhparian barely escaped with his life. He risked extreme peril and endured unimaginable hardships to return to this dangerous realm to lead a small expeditionary group which helped save thousands of Armenian survivors. Various fascinating historical figures appear in the story including: T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”), Prince Faisal, Hussein El-Attrache and Sarah Aaronsohn.
Extraordinarily rare film footage, photographs and documents have been gathered from archives around the world to reveal the terror and heroism in this incredible story which took place a century ago in the Syrian desert. It is at once heart-wrenching and inspirational. During the Genocide, over 3 million Armenians, Greeks & Assyrians were killed. This important story will be of interest to people of conscience around the world.
A Question and Answer period will follow the screening with filmmaking team members including: “Crows” Producer, Director, Writer Marta Houske an Emmy winning filmmaker who has won dozens of awards for her work. Composer John Massari whose musical imprint has been vibrant in film and television for decades. Levon Parian, a photographic artist whose work encompasses the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. (He published his Grandfather’s Memoirs upon which the documentary “Crows” is based.) Levon Yotnakhparian, also a grandson of the documentary’s hero, who was part of the production team.