PASADENA, CA – History will come alive at the Pasadena Armenian Center on Washington Avenue on Friday, April 16th when the film “Ravished Armenia” is shown in a free screening sponsored by local Armenian American groups. The screening of the film, which was once thought lost forever, will feature remarks by noted screenwriter and film director Eric Nazarian. The film chronicles the life of Arshaluys (Aurora) Mardiganian and her experiences during the Armenian Genocide.
“The Pasadena Hamazkayin, AYF and ANC Chapters are proud to have united to invite all residents in the City of Pasadena to come and view ‘Ravished Armenia’ at the Pasadena Armenian Center on April 16th,” remarked Pasadena ANC Executive Director Ishkhan Boghossian. “The film is a genuine piece of American history. And while we once thought this film was lost forever, we now have a chance to see the remarkable work of Aurora Mardiganian, a true Armenian American hero.” The film screening will be held on April 16th at 7:30pm at the Pasadena Armenian Center located at 740 East Washington Boulevard.
The book Ravished Armenia, by Aurora Mardiganian, (also called The Auction of Souls) was published three years after the Armenian Genocide commenced in 1915. The early publication of the book would clearly make it one of the first Genocide survivor memoirs to appear in English. Within months of arriving in the US, Mardiganian was starring as herself for $15 a week in a film adaptation and reenacting horrifying scenes from the Armenian Genocide.
The film “Ravished Armenia” was directed by veteran filmmaker Oscar Apfel. According to historians and film experts, the film garnered considerable attention in 1919 when it was first shown and was used to help raise money for Near East Relief to assist survivors of the Armenian Genocide. However, for many years “Ravished Armenia” was thought to be a lost film. Over the past two decades portions of the film have been rediscovered, and Richard D. Kloian of the Armenian Genocide Resource Center has produced an enhanced and edited 24-minute version to which he has carefully added an historical introduction, descriptive subtitles, well-chosen music, and a slideshow of production stills to create an important document.
The “Ravished Armenia” film screening is being presented through the efforts and leadership of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association Pasadena ‘Shahan Shahnour’ Chapter and the Pasadena Armenian Youth Federation ‘Nigol Touman’ Chapter, with the support of the Pasadena Armenian National Committee.
Individuals interested in learning more about the film screening of “Ravished Armenia” at the Pasadena Armenian Center are encouraged to contact the Pasadena ANC at [email protected] The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the areas Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.