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17 October 2009

2972) Global Hollywood Versus National Pride - Battle To Film Forty Days Of Musa Dagh

MOTION PICTURES PLAY a significant role in determining how people around the world perceive their own and other societies. Governments have therefore been sensitive to cinematic portrayals of their countries and are quick to complain when they feel that a movie treats their citizens poorly. An example of this occurred in 2002, when Canadian-Armenian writer-director Atom Egoyan released Ararat, a fictional depiction of efforts to make a movie about the 1914 massacre of Armenians in the Turkish city of Van. Egoyan supplemented this film-within-a-film structure with subplots that considered the tragedy’s effects on future generations and pondered the relationship between history and memory.

It was the first major picture to examine the Turkish genocide of one-and-a-half million Armenians during World War I.1

Turkey had long insisted that there was no organized campaign to eradicate Armenians and strongly opposed suggestions to the contrary. Ararat touched off a new round of angry denials and charges of hate mongering. . .

Egoyan received a flood of hostile emails and detractors set up Web sites that disputed his movie’s truthfulness. Turks in Canada and elsewhere threatened to boycott all films from the film’s distributor, Miramax, and its parent company, Disney. There were rumors that the Turkish government would take legal action to bar the picture worldwide. State minister Yilmaz Karakoyunlu told the Ankara Daily News that “Turkey will do everything possible against this film. It is a shameful production.”2. . .

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Global Hollywood Versus National Pride - Battle To Film Forty Days Of Musa Dagh

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