should not react to the movie "Ararat"
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.
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
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.