The powerful documentary “Architects of Denial” posits that denying such world atrocities as the 1915-18 killings of about 1.2 million Christian Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, which became the modern republic of Turkey, results only in history repeating itself. Producer-director David Lee George persuasively backs up this theory by taking a frank look at the horrors of the Armenian genocide as well as the modern-day persecution of Armenians by forces in Turkey and its ally, Azerbaijan.
The movie also deftly places the systematic annihilation of Armenians within the context of latter-day genocides in such places as Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia and Guatemala. Most dramatic, however, is the narrative’s chilling reminder of how a lack of accountability over the Armenian genocide led Adolf Hitler to believe that the world would also turn a blind eye to his “Final Solution.”
George combines a wide array of strong, if at times grisly, archival footage and photos with remarkable interviews with two centenarian survivors of the killings, plus moving commentary from many Armenians whose relatives perished in that first massacre and/or more recent conflicts across Azerbaijan.
Historians, academics, genocide experts, authors and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also provide perspective about such issues as how the United States (taken to task here at great length), Britain and others, under political pressure from the Turkish government, which disputes that a genocide took place, officially avoid using the G-word to describe this historical reality.
‘Architects of Denial’
In English, Armenian and Turkish with English subtitles.
Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; Pacific Glendale 18; also on VOD