Bay Area Armenian-Americans are promoting the premiere of “The Promise,” the first-ever Hollywood film depicting the 1915 Armenian genocide. All proceeds from the film, which debuts this week, will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other charities.
Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon star in the film, which was directed by “Hotel Rwanda” director Terry George and co-produced by San Mateo native Eric Esrailian.
Ara and Lori Jabagchourian, of San Mateo, are inviting some people to a screening of “The Promise” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20 at San Mateo’s Cinemark 12 Movie Theatre, hoping “to share this important part of their heritage with their non-Armenian friends and colleagues,” Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the local Armenian-American community, said in a news release.
The 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians was ordered by the Turkish government of the Ottoman Empire. Many of those killed were drowned, beaten, burned, or ordered on death marches. The Turkish government denies that the genocide even happened.
“The vast majority of Armenian-Americans are descendants of the few survivors of the genocide who were able to escape,” Bastian said.