“The Promise” Doesn’t Look Promising

After almost a month of having social media feeds full of reviews and thoughts about “The Promise” I went to see it. When I arrived to the cinema it was so crowded, I thought there was a protests or something. Moscow cinema’s blue hall was full, the majority of the audience were either Diaspora Armenians form all over the world, or people who basically didn’t understand Russian or Armenian. 

Reading a lot of reviews and watching interviews didn’t help iUn shaping the ideal perception of the movie, instead they made the process even more complicated. Let me explain my thought is points.

  1. Cinematography: the locations and sets are great, and convey a good mise-en-scène. Camera movements, camera angles and the entire editing and directing process are done beautifully.
  2. The idea: The Promise became a revolutionary movie, not only because of the strong PR and Marketing. The way the story was introduced was unique itself in the context of the Armenian Genocide. It didn’t have disturbing imagery, harsh killings and of course sexual content. The aim was to make it as educational as possible for the world, not only for Armenians around the world.
  3. Actors: having a cast of superstars including Christian Bale and Oscar Issac pushes the movie even more. Their reputation attracts more people to watch the movie, because of their rich cinematic history. Having them in the film is essential to spread the word not by Armenians this time but by foreigners.

The movie was over, and as I was walking out of the cinema, I noticed people crying. Their shirts showed that they were students and parents from the US on a school trip. I was thinking to myself, was I the only one who didn’t cry? why didn’t the movie effect me like it did to my friends who were fascinated? I think living in Armenia gave me a new perspective about the Genocide. If I watched this movie in any Diaspora community I think I will be in tears, and posting a lot of content on social media regarding the movie. The Genocide was the essence of my existence back in the diaspora, however in Armenia you realize how there’s much more in our history than the Genocide.


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