A branch of the Armenian Youth Federation is encouraging its members to boycott “The Ottoman Lieutenant” because the film perpetuates the denial of the Armenian genocide, they said.
The movie, which opened Friday, stars Michael Huisman and Hera Hilmar as a couple in Ottoman Turkey on the brink of World War I. The Armenian Youth Federation of the Western United States said in its statement that the film depicts this time period through “feel-good historical revisionism” that turns the genocide into a “two-sided” conflict.
The group also acknowledged that the film’s writers appeared to take a neutral stance by including different perspectives on the genocide in the dialogue. But, the statement said, “it is not possible to be neutral on the issue of genocide, and attempting to do so merely supports the modern propaganda of the Turkish government.
Reviewers have given the film poor marks so far, with many calling out its unwillingness to delve into the social implications of what it portrays, including the Muslim-Christian relationship at its heart.
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The movie’s creative team has not responded to the critique so far.