On Friday, my extended family saw the The Promise, the Hollywood film about the Armenian Genocide that was funded by billionaire Kirk Kirkorian. He died shortly before production began, but his dream has finally come to fruition, and although the movie can be painful to watch, it was shot beautifully.

The film means a lot to my family, as after all, we're here because of the Armenian Genocide, the tragedy that started in 1915 and resulted in the mass murder of about 1.5 million Armenians. My grandmother was one of only four family members to survive; they were one of many countless Armenians in Lebanon as many entered orphanages in Beirut before they eventually immigrated to the U.S. and across the globe. Her younger brother ended up Uruguay, only to die there at the age of 27. For the three surviving siblings, they did what they could to move on and start families in New York, Detroit and in my grandmother's case, Fresno. Their story, along with others of that generation, has finally been told in this epic directed by Terry George.

Some films, such as Atom Egoyan's Ararat, were noble attempts to tell the story about the Armenian Genocide. But this movie, which has a stellar cast including Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale, finally brings justice to those who were murdered and robbed of everything they had for being guilty of only one thing: their ethnicity. As with other attempts to showcase and educate the Armenian Genocide to the general public, the film was subjected to relentless criticism by the government of Turkey and its allies. Shortly after its release at last fall's Toronto Film Festival, thousands of reviewers gave the film a 1-star rating on many sites - absurd as only very few viewers at the time had access to The Promise.

This can be a very painful film to watch it, but if it is showing in your city, please see it; it is important. And the acting and cinematography are suburb. The last five minutes are especially searing, and not a dry eye existed amongst the eight of us who saw it; and those tears included my 80-plus-year-old uncles.

Incidentally, today marks the 102nd anniversary of the start of the Genocide, during which intellectuals and other community leaders were rounded up and executed in Constantinople.

Image credit: Leon Kaye

The Promise

The Promise was seen by my extended family on Friday in Fresno. It was a brutally difficult film to watch, but well worth sitting through.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.