The Promise is an intricate story with plots and subplots. The main theme involves a complicated love story of two men who love the same woman. It is a spellbinding and compelling story woven into the historical events surrounding World War I. The complexities of the love triangle seem very genuine. The casting is excellent, and the characters live our their struggles with terrific conviction. The performances are superb. The writing is exquisite and the artistic liberties are undertaken with great care without compromising historical facts.
The story takes place with the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide, a systematic extermination of the Armenians during 1915 that took the lives of 700,000 to 1.5 million lives. The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact that is unfortunately rejected by the Turkish Government. Unlike the Jewish holocaust, which was undertaken by the German government and accepted as a fact, Turkey has not taken responsibility for carrying it out and to the day rejects what happened as a genocide.
Throughout more than the past 100 years, there have been various Turkish efforts to silence and suppress information about many of these well-known historical events. The low ratings some have given this film betray similar motives. There is no Armenian propaganda. There is no bias. The historical facts are portrayed as accurately as possible. Instead of reviewing the film, many reviews scattered across the internet decry a so-called “Armenian propaganda.” They historical evidence for the Armenian genocide is clear and convincing. Historians have chronicled them well. The Associate Press and multiple newspapers covered the true events thoroughly as they were happening. Foreign ministers and dignitaries have provided their testimonies about the mass deportations and murders, with many photographs to accompany those testimonies. If there is any propaganda with relation to this movie, it is the work of Turkish people who were caught organizing effort to drown the movie with 1-star reviews before the movie was even released.
Based purely on the quality of The Promise, I don’t think these foolish attempts to kill its momentum will succeed. Those interested in seeing a truly moving film about love, faith, hope, and survival, should consider seeing this movie. Those interested in the facts surrounding the Armenian Genocide can easily find that information as well, if nowhere else, then here: http://genocide1915.info. Many Armenians will tell you that their ancestors have relayed these experiences to their offsprings. The stories told by the survivors of this genocide to the day have been told through the distant fixed gaze of pain expressed on the exasperated faces and through the blurred vision through tears with pauses used to gather oneself. This is no hoax! There is a very real pain about very real events that can and have been verified by independent sources.
The Armenian spirit and the ferocious determination for survival is expressed without equal by writer, William Saroyan, that provides a fitting end to the movie –
“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”