For a film to entertain can be tough. You aren’t going to reach everyone, but at the very least you can make something that will tickle the fancy of a good chunk of the population. So when a film sets out to not only entertain but also educate, it is taking on an entirely new challenge. Years of schooling has taught us to cringe at the very thought of being sat down to learn. Like the assigned reading of high school, it isn’t that we think the book will be bad, we just hate being told what we must read and at what pace. There is that selfish vision of freedom that can cripple what is nothing but intellectual growth. When I say that The Act of Killing will capture your attention and teach you something, don’t shudder; just sit down and shut up because this is something that you need to know.
Many years ago, I made a film that looked at the effects of the Armenian Genocide, on “third-generation survivors.” Young folks whose ancestors had been the victim of a genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire, an effort to systematically remove an entire group of people from Ottoman Turkey.
Lonelyreviewer.com is obviously not a political site, however, with April 24th being Armenian Genocide remembrance day, I can’t think of a better day to post my short film for the readers to check out. Feel free to read more about the film over at vatchearabian.com.
‘The Last Survivor’ is a character-based, feature-length documentary that explores the idea of genocide in the 21st century. Following the lives of survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities – The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo – the film presents the stories of the survivors and their struggles to make sense of tragedy by working to educate, motivate and promulgate a civic response to mass atrocity crimes.
“The Last Survivor showcases real world examples of survivors who have become powerful agents of change, moving people in communities across the world to act in the name of genocide prevention,” said Michael Pertnoy, Founder of Righteous Pictures and co-director of The Last Survivor. “April is Genocide Prevention month, and the film presents a unique opportunity for all of us to learn from the lessons and mistakes of our past in order to have a lasting social impact on how we act collectively in the face of similar issues today.”
As someone of Armenian decent, I can speak first hand at the importance of recognizing mass atrocities. Because when we allow the past to be forgotten, we continue to make the same mistakes.
The Last Survivor has already been recognized with several awards including being named Best Documentary and earning the Audience Award at the 2010 Oxford Film Festival, with Official Selections at the 2010 Dallas International Film Festi- val, the 2010 Atlanta Film Festival, the 2010 Miami Jewish Film Festival, and the 2010 Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
Last Survivor will be screening Sunday April 25th at 2:15p at the Somerville Theater. Click here to purchase tickets.