About the backgrounds of the Armenian genocide and the reasons for denying historical facts
Germany, 2010, TV-documentary film; director Eric Friedler; 90 min.; original version with English subtitles
On the occasion of the centenary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia will show the documentary film “Aghet” (Armenian word for “catastrophy”) by Eric Friedler, made in 2010. The genocide, which Raphael Lemkin, the creator of the “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (CPPCG), adopted by the UN in 1948, called the first systematic genocide of the 20th century, is still being denied by Turkey until today. The film sheds light on the backgrounds and reasons for denying historical facts and illustrates the steps of the genocide by using numerous historical sources.
The film, which has received numerous international awards (Grimme Preis, Deutscher Fernsehpreis, Gold Medal New York Festival, et al.), is based on research in many international archives (Political Archive of the German Foreign Ministry, Johannes-Lepsius-Archiv, Library of Congress, National Archives et al.), reconstructs from a multitude of historical sources, how the genocide happened. The documents used are very detailed reports of German and American Diplomats, but also descriptions of Swiss, Danish, Swedish doctors, social workers, teachers, engineers, missionary, correspondents and nurses, who were living in Turkey at the beginning of the last century and also kept notes of their observations in writing.
Well-known actors gave these eye witnesses, who are dead since many years, a new voice. 100 years after the genocide their disturbing testimonies can be heard again, bringing to light tragic fates, heroes and heroines who have been unknown hitherto, as well as the systematic road leading to an incomprehensible crime.