Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction
"Who today speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Adolf Hitler is purported to have said this on the eve of the Holocaust. Is it really possible to get away with the unthinkable? The Armenian genocide during the Young Turks regime is still not an automatic part of the history curriculum in most countries today. And yet the memories of this mass murder are still vivid for the descendants of the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed between 1915 and 1916. Using Terry George's 2016 historical romance The Promise as a leitmotif throughout his documentary, Oscar-nominated director Joe Berlinger takes a deeper look into these historical events. This includes on-set filming and interviews with the cast and crew of The Promise, as well as interviews with professors, journalists and filmmakers and archive footage of victims’ descendants, all of which Berlinger uses to sketch out an impression of the genocide in three chapters. Intent to Destroy covers the build-up, the shocking murders themselves and then their denial. Historians with diametrically opposing views are also given an opportunity to speak. What really happened? And who would be interested in rewriting this history?