Can’t understand why Turkey does not recognize the Armenian Genocide: Israeli filmmaker

Alisa Gevorgyan
Public Radio of Armenia

“Modern cinematography is rich in money, but poor in ideas,” says Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitay, an author of over 80 documentaries and feature films mostly surrounding the Middle East and Jewish-Arab conflict. Retrospective screening of his films will take place within the framework of the Golden Apricot 11th International Film Festival in Yerevan.

Although this is Gitay’s first visit to Armenia, he has long wished to visit the country to see the people that have passed through massacres and need to present their pain to the world. The filmmaker believes cinema is a powerful tool for preserving memory.

“I never understood why Turkey does not recognize the Armenian Genocide. I see similarities between the histories and identities of the Armenian and Jewish peoples. The demand of Armenians is completely legal and justified as was the demand of the Jews. This is not a sentimental issue connected with the memories of the past. Only by condemning the crimes of the past can we be confident that they will not reoccur in the future. Politics is certainly important in the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, but no less important is the power of art, which should be used,” Amos Gitay told reporters in Yerevan.

Famous Turkish film director Tayfun Pirselimoglu is also among the guests of the Golden Apricot Film Festival. His 2013 film presented in the competitive program is a joint production of Turkey, Greece, Germany and France. The film “I’m not him” tells about a man, who changes his identity and becomes a different person, without thinking about the consequences.

“The change of human identity lies in the basis of the film. It seems that the hero had no reason to change his identity, but this happens, anyway,” the Turkish filmmaker said.

According to him, the issue of identity is still urgent in Turkey, and he does not rule out that one of his heroes could be an Armenian that has changed his identity.

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