By Chantal Partamian
It’s about the death marches during the Armenian Genocide. This film is very private to me. Since childhood I knew it was true and had happened, but seeing it…The Ottoman Turkish force the intelligentsia to walk in the desert from Anatolia to Syria. The Armenians walk barefoot and the Gendarme ride on horses.
One of the Armenians asks the gendarme, if he can have shoes for his feet. In front of everybody, they grab him, put his leg up and give him a horseshoe under his foot. There are sounds of horseshoes clopping, hammering and hissing from the metal cooling off in water. A fat Turkish blacksmith heats up the horse shoe, puts it under his foot and hammers it on with nails.
I feel the humiliation of my grandparents is up there for everyone to see. It makes me very uncomfortable. I don’t think that anything will ever convey the real horror. Seeing people watching genocide movies, who aren’t related to it…there is a very thin line between “you feel me” and “you feel pity”.
This scene is just too fucking personal…I’d play the horse.
I don’t want to put myself in that victim’s place nor give those two yet another possibility of doing this.