By Wally Sarkeesian
UCLA: October 12th the The Promise institute for Human right presented Special Advance Screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary Intent to Destroy directed by award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger. The room 1458 was packed with attendees young and old, the Director of The promise Institut Asli Bali PHD. began welcoming the audience with brief introduction. shortly After the film, she convene a panel featuring Intent to Destroy producers Dr. Eric Esrailian, Carla Garapedian and legendary Hollywood film producer Mike Medavoy. Followed with reception.
By shining a light on the mechanism of denial over the past century—and the aggressive suppression of genocide depiction—he aims to extinguish the notion of any “debate” by revealing the absurdity of denial against the irrefutable facts he comprehensively lays out in the film.
Pulling back the curtain on Genocide censorship in Hollywood due to U.S. government pressure to appease a strategic ally, Intent To Destroy embeds with a historic feature production as a springboard to explore the violent history of the Armenian Genocide and legacy of Turkish suppression and denial over the past century.
Joe Berlinger’s thirteenth feature documentary film captures the cinematic and political challenges of producing a historically meaningful, big-budget feature film in an environment rife with political suppression and threats of retaliation. By intertwining these three separate threads – the modern day production of The Promise, the history of the Genocide and the century of international repression – Intent To Destroy coalesces to provide a comprehensive view on the atrocities of 1915 to 1923 and their resounding aftermath right up until the present day.
As Elie Wiesel has so eloquently stated, the final stage of Genocide is denial. Intent to Destroy pulls back the curtain of political resistance and historical amnesia to finally present a more complete account of Armenia – the Genocide, its delayed recognition and a nearly forgotten history of suffering and heroism in the hope of inspiring a collective sense of international justice and humanity.