ONE AMAZING DOCUMENTARY from Al Jazeera World, which takes a fresh, balanced approach to the brutal tragedy of the Armenians in 1915. Director Ramazan Mut has eschewed the issue in black and white rhetoric in favour of historical context, dating back centuries before what many call genocide wiped out a distinct Ottoman community.
The focus also rests on the present day, highlighting the three main actors in this bitter dispute raging for a near century: the republics of Turkey and Armenia, and the influential Armenian Diaspora.
Aptly titled “Common Pain”, if there’s one scene that nails the essence of the tragedy, it’s the prescient TV interview with Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, predating his assassination by Turkish ultranationalists:
We are two sick communities, the Turks and the Armenians. Their relationship is interwoven. The Armenians are experiencing a great trauma because of the Turks, and the Turks experiencing paranoia because of the Armenians. We are both clinical cases.
Who is going to cure us? Is it a decision of the French or American Senate? Who will provide the prescription? Who is our doctor?
The Armenians are the doctor of the Turks, and the Turks are the doctor of the Armenians. Besides that, there is no doctor or cure. Dialogue is the only prescription. They are each other’s doctor.