“Genocide is more than killing people,” states The Women of 1915 Bared Maronian’s latest documentary, “it’s robbing them of their very identity.” The idea that one culture can completely destroy evidence that another culture ever existed seems impossible, but the Ottoman Empire came close in 1915 when they slaughtered the Armenian people.
Over 100 years later, The Armenian Genocide is a topic that is still taboo today. Not only were over one million people brutally murdered, churches were destroyed, villages and libraries were burned to the ground leaving almost no trace of the Armenian people, but documentary refuses to let Turkey and the United States silence the Armenian voice.
This genocide is, unfortunately, still not acknowledged by the United States or Turkey and is still a distressing topic. Thankfully there are films coming out this year that will change that. And The Women of 1915 is one of them. This documentary has been touring all over the world all over Europe, Australia, Canada, and has slowly been making its way across the US.
Maronian’s film highlights the women, both Armenian and non-Armenian, who helped so many escape the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire. The documentary also stresses that the genocide was also a gendercide. The men were taken away and never returned home, which left women and children behind to fend for themselves. Thankfully many people rushed to the aid of the Armenians: Jewish men and women created an underground group and worked against the Ottoman empire, the Greeks snuck Armenians out, the Pope saved hundreds of orphans and protected them from falling into the wrong hands, and the list goes on and on. There was an outpour of support and aid. However, the genocide still goes on unrecognized.
Filled with heart-wrenching interviews of the horrors that happened, The Women of 1915 is the documentary that America needs to see. It is time for the United States and Turkey to recognize the genocide. We must learn from our history or else be doomed to repeat it, and this documentary the beautiful and tragic lesson we need..
© Lindsy M. Bissonnette FF2 Media (4/8/17)
Top Photograph: Women of 1915 film poster
Middle Photograph: Women of 1915 beginning animation by Martyn Pick
Photo Credits: Armenoid Films