Commentary by Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan  
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Professor Mahmut Esat Ozan has been the rare, tireless voice in the United States, putting up his dukes in the sea of Turcophobes for many years. Here is a commentary that appeared in The Turkish Forum.



It seems that the controversial Canadian movie director of Armenian origin, Atom Egoyan and his new film adventure called "ARARAT" have had their third strike against them. To the deep disappointment of the huge Hollywood distributor MIRAMAX Corporation, a Disney company subsidiary, "ARARAT" is termed by the world Press as a "FLOP". Disney, and Miramax corporation are not expected to recoup their millions for a long time to come, that is, if they ever do. The executives are infuriated, seeing their investment going down the drain to the sewers, the domain of rats. The French Press is abuzz with stories how Egoyan and Aznavour invested heavily in their mutual "PET PROJECT" and may never recover from their losses.

Canada where the movie was made, won't be an exception. Everyone connected to the film is running around with sullen faces. Melancholy and depression is everywhere. What is most striking is the fact that Egoyan's dream of becoming a 'hero' for the Armenian Diaspora is also fast evaporating. Ironically, of all places, in France, "ARARAT" has been declared a disaster. Knowing that France is the birthplace of the famous singer-turned-actor Charles Aznavour, the principle actor of the film in the leading role, this 'flop' is considered the 'swan song ' of his long career.

The day following the first showing of the film in a plush Paris 'cinema', France's respected movie revue called 'Le Studio' had the following headline: " ARARAT, Egoyan's Huge Disappointment". In its main article the magazine was quite ruthless in its unexpected analysis. It said : "ARARAT" did not usher in the much hyped and certainly hoped illumination it was supposed to provide." The article continued: "When Egoyan had an opportunity to produce and direct a nice film, instead he left all reasonable approach aside and tried to revise and re-write history. At that point he had entered a very dangerous zone. There was nothing else left for him to do but to butt his head against concrete walls. Though he was much traumatized, the lacerations and lesions he received from this sad experience were less injurious to him than to his Armenian pride."

  More Criticism

The most virulent critiques with regard to the movie came from the Armenian community of Turkey, of which one of the representatives, a journalist, Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of the Armenian language AGOS, which is the main Turco-Armenian communal newspaper, was present in Cannes. In the backstage conversation which took place In the presence of many journalists, some Turkish, he denunciated Egoyan, blamed him for having made a movie quite damaging to the Turco-Armenian relations. Hrant Dink also admonished Egoyan for having made a film that could not be shown in Turkey. He asks the director: "Why weren't you able to make a movie that everyone in Turkey, including the Turkish-Armenians, would be satisfied to watch together? This is not entertainment, it is a propaganda piece for hatred."

Not so severe, but at the same time slightly similar situations to come were predicted in this column in April of this year. In a Turkish Forum essay entitled "Turks Smell a Rat in ARARAT", this author had warned its readers and said that "ARARAT" could be cast 'out of projection' at the Cannes Film Festival. The reason for reaching this conclusion was simple. "ARARAT" was not made to entertain . It was made, with all deliberation, to propagandize a point "HATE THE TURKS, and DESPISE THEM, because they are not human beings like you and us Armenians." There are half a million Armenians living in France. Almost that many Turks also call France their home. Many of them had hoped that the Cannes Film Festival would nix this bigoted, racial monstrosity' Their dreams came true. The film was not placed on the regular fare of projection. In other words, it was ipso facto rejected.

After years of preparation, researching, ( inventing ) the script, after endless hours of hard work of casting the film's characters, and tedious fund raising sessions to be able to get enough cash to produce the story, after months and months of advance work to create a feverish hype to publicize "ARARAT", Egoyan and his partner, Charles Aznavour, received the shock of their lives. Even though their expensive venture "ARARAT" was not included on the menu, the evening of Monday May 20th the disappointed couple came to attend the opening of the Festivities. What they, and the Cannes Palace of the Festivals were witnessing for the first time, was a large group of Turks who had arrived from all parts of France, to demonstrate in front of the promontory of the Palace of Festivals, loudly protesting the presence of Egoyan and Aznavour. The clamor of the young picketers was accompanied by traditional Turkish Davul and Zurna music. Armenians who have no understanding of and no taste for democratic criticism wanted to alert the local police, claiming that the action of these young Turkish students' manifestation was a 'dangerous and disruptive' thing. No law officers were observed anywhere. The Turkish students' carried on doing what they had come there for. Their purpose was to divert attention from the two, and be able to protest and inform the crowd with their neatly prepared signs. They were there to show their opposition against this highly inflammatory racial rubbish, this hate-mongering monstrosity called "ARARAT"

The serious French publication"LIBERATION said that Egoyan had felt obliged to talk about the alleged Armenian genocide in his film but instead left the impression that he was discovering his Armenian identity for the first time. The newspaper asked the following question: "What ground level did he have to reach ,? and what price was he prepared to pay for doing so?


The well-known French daily, Le Monde had this headline: " ATOM EGOYAN'S ARARAT IS A MYTH ENCARCERATED IN AN INTELLECTUAL PRISON" The inside story of the same publication continued: This film was not narrating the story of a 'genocide' it was crudely trying to gauge the future influences and affects it may leave on the human animal" Le Monde continues: "Egoyan and his film are entrapped here. The Canadian director is in trouble. On the one hand he wants that his work be viewed by every movie-goer in the world, but his work "ARARAT" seems to have been filmed with undue complications created by his own script. The massacre scenes haphazardly injected here and there, the tasteless dance sequences performed by naked young women, their individual murder scenes after their being raped by those savage Turks, their being torched with kerosene and their subsequent deaths do not add any artistic or redeeming value to the film, on the contrary they contaminate Egoyan's work and leave a salacious taste in the viewer's mouth."


The film called "ARARAT" packs a wallop of vengeance and teaches the younger generations that animosity and terrorism are permissible when you hate Turks. Is the Armenian movie, director Atom Egoyan's new production "ARARAT," an ordinary motion picture? The answer is: definitely "NOT". This movie could easily be labeled a 'HATE CRIME SYLLABUS' shot in Canada, for the sole purpose of teaching everyone, including the innocent minds of the children of Canada and of the rest of the world, to begin to hate Turks.

The original proponents and the zealous supporters of this project, namely th e 'Armenian Motion Picture Endowment,' (AMPE) gave statements in the past, at hastily announced Press conferences that they were extremely proud to have spent 14 long years on this project, which was characterized as an engrossing "true-to-life" documentary film. Their press releases showed that their project was delayed for many years for lack of funds. But now it is being taken over by one hitherto unknown movie director of dubious accomplishments. Press reports about him have been hardly positive.

This 40-year-old director Atom Egoyan-whose previous amateurish films have been classified as being : "cerebral" and "dispassionate," where all characters are often psychological misfits, not unlike their director who calls the scenario of his movie a "true but rarely discussed subject of the 1915-1917 annihilation of over a million and a half Armenians by the Ottoman Empire."

This statement of his alone, (the Armenian Genocide,) gives away his ignorance on the subject matter. This has never been a rarely discussed subject. The Armenians have never stopped talking about it from day one. They've been talking about this very subject and nothing else but this subject in the last 87 years. They have had an obsession on this very subject. The reader may remember our 1999 Turkish Forum article: GENOCIDE.COM which went into detail in explaining this point.


The fictitious scenario of the film is based on a poem written long before the alleged Armenian genocide, by another person called Atom, only this one had a different last name: Yarjanian , popularly known as 'Siamanto.' The title of his poem is " The Bride." The poet was born in Russia in 1878 and died of old age in 1915. It was after his death that the Armenians began to talk about their new claims of the alleged genocide, not before.

The Canadian reporter, Gale MacDonald, who visited the filming while it was shot on location, says "the poem is very raw. In its application to the scenario of the film called "ARARAT" It holds a mirror to ugly men (all Turks) who did unspeakably ugly things, tortured 20 young Armenian virgin brides who were made to dance naked, hand in hand before the crazed mob, (the Turks), they twisted and twirled, and when they fell to the ground, exhausted, their captors, (the Turks) shrieked savagely for them to stand. They could not, so they raped them one, by one, and then they doused them in kerosene and torched the bodies. And the charcoal corpses rolled from dance to death, wrote the poet.

What Yarjanian was talking about may have been a Russian 'Pogrom', against the Armenians who were subjected to these types of brutality by the Russians who hated them. The plot, it seems, was cleverly and conveniently borrowed for this senseless slanderous effrontery called "ARARAT."

The publicist of the film says: "The death scenes have been grueling for many Armenians to watch. There are bodies burned, heads on sticks. It was a very barbaric extermination. Visibly pregnant (Armenian ) women had their stomachs sliced open," He continues :"This film "ARARAT" is not for the faint of heart. Egoyan is going to mess you up!" Siamento (Yarjanian) confronts pain, destruction, sadism, and torture as no modern poets have."


Without batting an eye, Egoyan lies when he says: "In 1948 a United Nations Genocide Convention was adopted, and the Armenian Genocide was condemned by the international community as a crime against humanity." Here a correction is in order. The Convention took place in 1948, however, no such resolution was ever passed by the U.N. and Turkey was not condemned for any such crime by any U,N, body. This must be a figment of his fertile imagination. He also says that " a recognition from the Turkish government of the Armenian holocaust is imminent." To that we'd like to say : "That'll happen when hell freezes over." So don't hold your breath, Mr. Egoyan."



What is discussed in California's large Armenian ghetto circles today is the above-mentioned, "true-to-life" documentary which according to them, will teach the world that "Turks committed the first Genocide of the 20th century", and that for 87 long years Turks never owned up to its accountability. Unfortunately, for the Armenians the Egoyan film, "ARARAT" is no longer in a position of doing that, because it has proven to be an unbelievable, dishonest story by the critics who saw it and passed their judgements on it.
During this film's total entirety, not even the smallest reference is offered to the Turkish rebuttal of any sort. The Armenians deliberately concealed the existence of a civil war, which raged at the time, and that more than 2.5 million Ottoman Muslim citizens perished at the hands of the rebellious Armenian Hinchak and Dashnak hordes, helping and abetting the Caucasian Army units of the Russian Czar Nicholas II.


The film "ARARAT," partially financed by the Disney Studios and distributed by Miramax Corporation, has already earned the title of the world's 'MOST HATRED-LOADED FILM ever attempted to be made to date Despite the fact that it was judged to be a 'flop' will not prevent it to do its damage. It will still influence generations to come. There are no two ways about it. Like in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein story' this monster will stay "Alive" will not die in our lifetime. What a shame ! Egoyan's deliberate malevolence will implant the seeds of 'ill will' and hatred for the detriment of not only the Turks, but also for the whole human race.



Over 90% of French-Armenians Turn Up Their Noses at ARARAT

Translated (from by:
Mahmut Esat Ozan
The Turkish Forum, Sept. 18, 2002


We bring to your attention the French box-office results of the controversial movie called "Ararat" of Atom Egoyan , Number of entries in Paris September 4, the day of the national showing to the public of the movie "ARARAT" 291(official theaters). The Armenian community of the Parisian region counts more than 80 000 members.

Number of entries in France as of 09/04/02 to 09/10/02 (the movie was distributed in more of 70 movie theaters ): The attendance: 15.545 (official number of entries of the 09/04/02 to 09/18/02: The (non official evaluation of Armenian source gives this number as being 35.000.

In spite of an impressive media hype, less than 10% of the 500.000 Armenians of France went to see this movie "Ararat." The poster displays of the movie has been withdrawn from numerous theatre lobbies since the end of the first week when the showing started. The faillure of "ARARAT" has created great commotion in the Armenian activist circles. Movie business people also hadbig complaints with the results of ticket sales in the same neighborhoods. It is impossible not to wonder about the reasons of this huge failure.

You don't have to look far to find out the reason for this. "Ararat" is simply a horrible movie. It is a misfire a foozle, (a bungle or a bad strock in Golf), and to quote the famous Parisian newspaper LIBERATION, it is also 'salacious.' The scenes of violence which show the Turks as rapist monsters are termed ridiculous, scandalous and obscene. The obscenity of it all, however, culminates with the total absence in the movie of any atrocity committed by the Armenians on the Turkish population.

The manipulations and the falsifications, the abject propaganda and the obvious disinformation in "ARARAT" are unbelievable. The movie-goers and the critics are unanimous on the verdict: "This is a bad movie." Everybody says the following: "Ararat, the Mountain" has delivered a monumental "flop!"

Cordially from France: Scapegoat's team


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