NY Times: ‘Intent to Destroy’ shows that the Armenian past is not over

 “Intent to Destroy” is a call to remember the Armenian genocide victims, both for their sake and for our own, Ken Jaworowski writes in an article published by The New York Times.

Joe Berlinger, the director, uses old footage of survivors and insights from historians to provide an overview of the crimes. He also embeds himself with the cast and crew of “The Promise,” a recent fictional film set around 1915 that explores the fighting and mass killings.

“Mr. Berlinger’s plan is smart as well as symbolic — evidence shows that the Turkish government has often pressured studios into shelving movies about the genocide,” Ken Jaworowski writes.

According to the author, discussions on the film set are intertwined with historical analysis, and there are explorations of crowd psychology, revisionism and German cooperation with the Ottoman Turks; it’s no stretch to see how the massacre of Armenians helped lay groundwork for the Holocaust.

“At its core, “Intent to Destroy” is a call to remember the victims, both for their sake and for our own,” Jaworowski says.

“If you want to understand Yugoslavia, if you want to understand Rwanda, if you want to understand any other mass atrocity [that] is happening today, you should really look into the Armenian genocide,” one scholar says near the end of the documentary. “History is not in the past.”