FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Peter Balakian will lecture on Elia Kazan and his 1963 Oscar-winning film, “America, America,” on Thursday, November 19. Balakian argues that Kazan’s depiction of the Armenian Massacres of 1896 following the Ottoman Bank incident is a landmark chapter in the history of cinema and in the history of the representation of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
“Kazan’s presentation of the plight of the Armenians and Greeks in Turkey is not only groundbreaking in the history of Hollywood cinema,” Balakian says, “but it has been ignored and misunderstood.”
The presentation will be accompanied by a screening of the dramatic Armenian scenes from the film.
Balakian’s chapter on Kazan’s “America, America” is from his new book of essays Vice and Shadow: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry, Art and Culture, which features pieces on Charents, Gorky and Siamanto, as well as Bob Dylan, Hart Crane, Joan Didion and others.
Balakian’s new book of poems Ozone Journal was published simultaneously — both by t
he University of Chicago Press.