YEREVAN — On Saturday, two days after the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, “The Promise” director Terry George and co-producer Eric Esrailian paid a symbolic and emotional visit to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex. Esrailian and George, who arrived in Yerevan on Thursday afternoon to attend a series of events devoted to “The Promise,” were accompanied by Armenia’s Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan and AGBU Central Board members.
The visit to Tsitsernakaberd was a true highlight for George. Never intimidated to speak up against genocides, he depicted their horrors in his historical dramas Hotel Rwanda and “The Promise”. “This visit sums up everything that I worked for over the last four years and brings into focus what really cinema and the power of cinema can be about, to try to commemorate the loss of lives and the horrible crime that was committed. So, this is the most emotional moment of the whole production of “The Promise” itself, the most important moment of the project,” said George.
George and Esrailian paid tribute to the Armenian Genocide victims with a moment of silence as they laid flowers at the eternal flame. They also planted a tree in the Memory Alley to honor the memory of the late Kirk Kerkorian, the legendary man who tirelessly worked to bring “The Promise” to big screens, and toured in the genocide museum.
“This tree symbolizes the ever-growing reach of the Armenian story. Kirk Kerkorian planted the seed, and Terry, Mike Medavoy, and I have been honored to work with our incredible cast and crew to share this story with the world. We must never let the world forget our past, and we must move forward together support others in need. Under Kirk Kerkorian’s direction, we followed through on his wishes for the film. Today, we honor his life and the lives of those lost over a hundred years ago,” said Esrailian, co-producer of “The Promise.”
On Friday, they spoke to the local journalists and attended “We Promise” musical tribute—inspired by “The Promise” and based on its original score—which premiered at the Opera Theater in Yerevan. Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, AGBU President Berge Setrakian along with foreign ambassadors and dignitaries attended the spectacular.
“Armenians across the globe watched their significant past unfold on screen for the first time in a wide-release Hollywood production. It is difficult to express our global gratitude for the efforts of the late Kirk Kerkorian and to those who worked as allies in telling this story, specifically our guests Terry, Eric and their co-producers. They confronted countless challenges over the years and succeeded despite all odds. We are honored to dedicate a few events, including the musical tribute at the Yerevan Opera Theater to the film,” said Setrakian.