Director: Terry George Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale Running Time: 134 minutes
Between 1915 and 1923, the Ottoman government systematically murdered 1.5 million Armenians, massacring men and/or working them to death in forced labour while deporting women, children and the elderly into death marches through the desert. It was a genocide that to this day, the Turkish state has refused to acknowledge. As one of the bleakest acts in relatively recent human history, the Armenian Genocide is undoubtedly worthy of being told to a wide audience, which makes The Promise all the more frustrating. Despite having a relatively high budget, talented and well-known actors and someone with a good track record in historical drama behind the camera in Terry George (the Irish director having directed Hotel Rwanda in addition to writing films like The Boxer and In The Name of the Father), The Promise is hampered in its depiction of history because of its choice to set that history as the backdrop to a romance that is not especially interesting.