You have to wonder if the Armenian Holocaust is a subject just too hot for Hollywood to handle.
The genocide of 1.5 million Armenians has barely been covered in film, and the latest effort to do so — The Promise, a lavishly produced Christian Bale film — struggled to find a distributor. Although the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 2016, it only recently closed a distribution deal in December and won’t hit the theaters until April, 2017.
Eric Esrailian, a producer of The Promise, said to Variety: “I’ll just say that there are some studios that have business interests in Turkey, and you can form your own opinion.”
Additionally, there is evidence of an organized propaganda campaign against the film. The Variety story continued: “The film’s IMDb page has received more than 86,000 user votes, the bulk of them one-star ratings, despite the fact that the movie has had only three public screenings. That’s more user reviews than appear for Finding Dory, the highest-grossing film of the year.”
The Armenian Holocaust, committed by the Turkish government, is something that government would like to forget, and it has repeatedly used its influence to promote denial or at least minimization of the genocide.
The only other narrative film on the Armenian Holocaust, Ararat, was likewise harassed. According to NewsBusters, “Disney-owned Miramax distributed the movie, but as a result, the entertainment company received thousands of negative emails that ended up crashing its website.”