Between music, an untold history and memories, survivors of the Armenian genocide in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, now tell their stories in the latest documentary, “Screamers,” a production by Carla Garapedian that features System of a Down, an Armenian-American rock band.
The film, the production traveled with the rock band, during the summer 2005 as they toured throughout Europe promoting their new album “Mesmerize” in their performances in London, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Screamers, is a short synopsis of 90 minutes raising concern and awareness of the Armenian genocide in 1915 that killed 1.5 million Armenians.
The film demands that no genocide should be ignored instead should be recognized by all governments ,especially the Turkish government which continues to deny, that there was ever a genocide.
The film is produced by Garapedian and MG2 Production in association with BBC Television and The Raffy Manoukian Charity. Garapedian, is an international documentary director, and was also the first American to ever anchor for BBC World News.
Garapedian is an Armenian-American raised in Los Angeles, and has produced other documentaries such as “Children of the Secret State,” and “Iran Undercover”.
“Never Again” is the message from the rock band to stop governments from committing more atrocities against humanity. They demand that genocides should be recognized as what they are mainly to avoid future violence against minority groups through the world.
Governments have ignored the genocides and some have even considered them as massacres, but not what they really are; genocides.
The film focuses on past genocides, from the Armenian genocide continuing with the Holocaust in Germany, a result of about 6 million dead; Cambodia, 2 million; Rwanda, 800,00; Bosnia, 200,000; Darfur, 400,000 deaths. All are linked, because governments continue to deny it, leading to a continuation for more inhumane violence to happen.
Nonetheless, politicians are also criticized one by one, for no given proper named and not recognition the recent genocides in Rwanda, Iraq and Sudan in less than a decade.
“Why do genocides continue in the 21st century? Because those who perpetrated them in the 20th century got away with it,” said Garapedian at the documentary.
Surprisingly, one of the survivors that appeared through the film is Stepan Haytayan, the grandfather of the lead vocalist Serj Tankian, who was videotaped years earlier by Serj.
With magnificent sound, it is in the words of the lyrics that the band is able to tell the untold stories of those who survive, who are their own family’s members, their grandparents, and uncles.
With their music, the members of the band are able to raised their voices. In any genocide, there are always survivors to scream what happened as the film showed.
“We are not afraid to speak our minds” said one of the members of the band, reiterating that the genocide did occur.
“Screamers” definitely is an outstanding film that more than giving recognition to the Armenian genocide, it gives a voice to the many victims and their families, honoring their heroes.
Garapedian teamed up with System of a Down, in a mixture of music of survival, and the many memories, and photos of the many families that were separated, underlines the band’s key message: “How the world’s denial of the Turk’s Armenian genocide contributed to the continuing crisis of international genocides ever since.”