Lethal Nationalism: Genocide of The Greeks 1913-1923 is the long awaited documentary that is over 8-years in the making and directed by Chicago-born Greek Peter Lambrinatos.
And after 8 years, the documentary is finally released, today!
For the first time, thanks to the efforts of Lambrinatos and Executive Producer George Mavropoulos, a medium that uncovers the history and horror of Turkey’s genocide of its Greek minority will be unveiled to the entire world.
A million Greeks were exterminated in the Turks made drive to create a “Turkey for the Turks” – there was no room for Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians. This systemic extermination saw over 3 million Christians slaughtered at the hands of the Turks.
Although the Armenian Genocide is known throughout the world thanks to the hard work and lobbying of Armenia’s diaspora communities, the Greek Genocide is lesser known – partly because this was one of many incidences of Greek suffering in the 20th century when we consider Greece’s occupation during World War II and Turkey’s invasion of northern Cyprus, and partly because the Greek diaspora has not mobilized as effectively as the Armenians to create awareness about the Greek Genocide.
However, the work of Lambrinatos and Mavropoulos has changed this landscape, and now at the click of a few buttons, the documentary can be seen by anyone. Stronger awareness of Turkey’s crimes can help build momentum to make Ankara accountable for their crimes.
The long and arduous journey to have the film released to public viewing is finally complete, but only after picking up a a semi-finalist award at the prestigious WorldFest Film Festival – the same film festival that kickstarted the careers of some of the industry’s greats like Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers, Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott and many others – as well as a finalists award at the Athens Marathon Fest, where it also got an honorable mention as the best documentary.
The documentary, that Greek City Times had the privilege of reviewing before its final release, is one that will shake you to your core as horrific testimonies are given by survivors of one of the greatest crimes perpetrated in the 20th century.
One horrific event recounted in the documentary is when the Turks had rounded up all the women and children in a village into the church, keeping but just a few women to surely be slaves. The church was then set aflame. However, the captured women escaped the grasp of their captors, running into the fire, preferring to die with their family and friends than become slaves.
Lethal Nationalism is full of such horrific stories that will teleport you into what we think is a bygone era that gives us a greater understanding to the suffering our grandparents and great grandparents endured through. However, it would be naive to believe this is only something that could occur in the past as we continue to see Turkey’s crimes today, whether it be its illegal occupation of northern Cyprus that ethnically cleansed the indigenous Greek population, or its continued violent discrimination against its Kurdish minority, or whether its supporting radical jihadist terrorist forces in Syria that target and murder the Greek Orthodox minority and other Christian minorities in the country.
Legendary television news anchorman, Bill Kurtis, with his soothing but firm voice narrates this powerful documentary.
“This production is one of the most important projects that I’ve ever been associated with and it provides a sobering lesson as to why we should never forget the suffering that is caused by genocide,” Kurtis said of the documentary.
So the burning questioning of course is how can the documentary be seen?