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Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction

Intent To Destroy

Director Joe Berlinger

Editor Cy Christiansen

Screenplay Joe Berlinger, Cy Christiansen

Sound Serj Tankian

With Jerry George, Paul Boghossian, Fatma Müge Göçek, Eric Bogosian, John Marshall Evans, Peter Balakian, Michael Bobelian

Cinematography Bob Richman

At first glance, the latest from heavyweight documentarian Joe Berlinger resembles a behind-the-scenes production diary for another grander movie: Terry George’ s The Promise, a wartime epic set during the Armenian genocide of 1915 (starring Oscar Isaac & Christian Bale). But Intent to Destroyquickly reveals its own intentions as a historical corrective. Using the film production as a springboard, Berlinger launches into his own enquiry into the Armenian holocaust and exposes one of the most horrific chapters in human history – one which the Turkish government still denies ever happening, more than a hundred years later.

 Exposing their cruel denialism, Berlinger reconstructs this suppressed history with the help of historians, scholars and filmmakers. But the questions multiply. What can depiction do to reverse the damage? Is there any one narrative that can do an atrocity like this justice? Can history ever be more than just a set of lies agreed upon? Berlinger’ s confrontation with these difficult questions is probing and deeply powerful. —JF

“Intent to Destroy is a timely reckoning with the large-scale suppression of a historical tragedy.”—Elizabeth Bao, Tribeca Film Festival