CANBERRA: A special screening of the Armenian Genocide-era Hollywood epic, The Promise took place at the Australian Parliament House on Tuesday 17th October, as part of the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s (ANC-AU) Advocacy Week activities.
This event was hosted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Australia-Armenia Parliamentary Group and ANC-AU. The Inter-Parliamentary Union Group was launched in June 2017 and is co-chaired by Trent Zimmerman, Member for North Sydney and The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon, Member for Hunter.
The screening of The Promise attracted Members of the Federal and Australian Capital Territory Parliaments, diplomatic corps, parliamentary staff, and the press gallery. ANC-AU Advocacy Week international guest, ANC America Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian was also in attendance, along with members of the Canberra Armenian community.
“The showing of The Promise in Australia’s Parliament House further deepens the historic ties between Australia and Armenia. This relationship dates as far back to World War I when the newly established Commonwealth of Australia carried out its first major, international humanitarian effort by supporting and providing relief efforts for the orphans and other survivors of the Armenian Genocide,” said Vache Kahramanian, Managing Director of ANC-AU.
Armenian Relief Funds, committees and organisations were established in major capital cities to organise vital, Australia-wide fundraising efforts for the orphans and other survivors of the genocide. Total humanitarian aid raised was equivalent to millions of dollars in today’s value.
The Promise is a film directed by Terry George (best known for Hotel Rwanda and In the Name of the Father), and is set during the waning days of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. It tells the story of the Armenian Genocide 1915 from the backdrop of love, loyalty and survival. The story revolves around an Armenian medical student Michael (played by Oscar Isaac) and his love for Anna (played by Charlotte Le Bon) who is being courted by an American photojournalist Chris (played by Christian Bale).
“We call on the Australian government, political, civic and religious leaders to further commit and lead on human rights issues and support efforts for humanitarian aid to ensure that these atrocities do not happen again,” added Kahramanian.
Photo: Representatives of the Armenian National Committee of Australia with Trent Zimmerman and Joel Fitzgibbon