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Winter 2002: 8th issue - **2nd Anniversary**

We should not react to the movie "Ararat"

by Egemen BAGIS


Some people name Atom Egoyanís latest movie "Ararat" as the "New Midnight Express", because the genocide allegations of the Armenians are among the multi leveled and complex story of this film.


As  I have indicated many times on various platforms, the negative effects of this movie will hurt us, the Turks living outside of Turkey, more compared to our nationals back in our homeland. Our neighbors, colleagues, schoolmates and even our childrenís friends will question us regarding the events of 1915. Some of them will  judge us according to this movie without even asking a question. Therefore, we analyzed the situation very delicately at the Board of Directors of our Federation.

Egemen Bagis, President of FTAA.


The first and emotional approach is to start a protest campaign in order to prevent this movie from hitting the movie screens. However, our logic tells us that we should not do anything on this issue.  In 1984, we went as far suing the movie ìMidnight Expressî but found out that the constitution and the laws regarding freedom of expression protect these types of movies and initiatives. Moreover, we learned that these type of protesting activities only help the producers of the movies by increasing the awareness and creating a curiosity on the part of movie goers.


This movie has already been shot and its preliminary editing process has been completed. Almost twenty million dollars have already been spent on this production. No producer would waste that much money just to please the Turkish Americans. Even the Chinese authorities with a market of almost 2 billion people could not persuade Walt Disney whose attorneys said ìOur freedom of expression is not for sale.î


15 to 20 new movies are presented to the market every week in the United States. Most of them stay on cinema billboards for a week or two because they cannot generate enough sales. In the case of a few movies with well-known actors hitting the market at the same time ìAraratî premiers, the investors who expect to double their monies will be very upset. By preserving our silence we will already upset these investors who, I am sure have anticipated our reaction and are hopeful for the buzz that the controversy will generate. It would be an achievement if we could convince Disney to make a statement somewhere in the movie and explain that although the story is based on actual experiences of some witnesses, the historical aspects of the events are still being debated by historians.


Even if they do not insert some of type of an explanation, the one sided presentation of events will force the audiences to doubt the accuracy of these historical allegations.

Although we should keep our silence regarding "Ararat" there is a lot we could do to deal with these types of damaging allegations. Producing our own movies could be one of them.

This issue dedicated to such distinguished poet & composer as (alphabetical order):
Nazim HIKMET & Ilhan MIMAROGLU

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