Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale Are Caught in the Armenian Genocide in The Promise

Posted on September 10, 2016

Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon in The Promise

Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte le Bon star in the first trailer for The Promise, which is set in Istanbul, Turkey in 1914. The film deals with the Armenian Genocide which is also known as the Armenian Holocaust which began in 1915. The Muslim Ottoman Empire was crumbling and the caliph decreed that it was time to get rid of the Christians. There were 2.1 million Christians in the Ottoman Empire who endure discrimination in the form of higher taxes and a lack of civil rights. The Christians were Armenians whose country had been annexed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.

The government decided to expel the Christians once and for all. They were murdered, tortured, jailed and send on long treks without clothing, food or water and told to leave the country. American journalists covered the massacre in depth and there was widespread outrage. After World War I and the purge there were less than 400,000 Christians left in the Ottoman Empire, which is now Turkey.

Oscar Isaac plays Michael Boghosian, a young medical student who wants to bring modern medicine to his small town in southern Turkey. He meets an AP journalist Chris Myers, played by Christian Bale, who ends up covering a massacre. Charlotte LeBlon plays an Armenian artists who was raised in Paris but who is enjoying the sophisticated culture of Istanbul. The two men are rivals for Ana's affections, but World War I and the genocide intervened in their lives.

The film was directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, Reservation Road, The Shore) from a screenplay by Terry George and Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).

To date the Turkish government denies that the genocide happened. Historians agree that Turkey systematically murdered 1.5 million Christian Armenians. But anyone who speaks or writes about this inconvenient fact are jailed and are convicted of "insulting Turkishness." Needless to say, there won't be any screenings of this film in Turkey. Take a look:

Photo: Survival Pictures

More from Watchers Watch