LONDON — In the vast landscape of podcasts, a new narrative journey dedicated to one of the most famous victims of the Armenian Genocide is unfolding. Uncovering Roots, a series by Maxim Saakyan, dedicated to bringing forth stories that are often overlooked, stories that not only need to be told but deserve to be at the forefront of our collective consciousness. “Uncovering Roots” delves into the extraordinary life of Aurora Mardiganian, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide who became a Hollywood star based on her life.
The debut mini-series launched on December 10 and has managed to receive good recognition since its release. It was featured as the Guardian’s podcast of the week while Spotify put it as their number one documentary to listen to. The three episodes in the series explore various details about Aurora’s life and the film.
Aurora’s story isn’t just a survivor’s story. She became a symbol of survival, resilience, and perseverance. As Atom Egoyan called her in the podcast, a Super Survivor who was able to recount her story to so many. And with that, she saved so many lives with the film raising money for Near East Relief.
“The motivation behind ‘Uncovering Roots’ is deeply personal for me. As an Armenian, the amount of people inside the United Kingdom who don’t know about the genocide really hurts me. Then we look at Aurora’s story, and it’s just so unbelievably shocking. It’s so unbelievable that so many people didn’t actually think she existed. Like she was a fictional character that was made up to represent the pain Armenians went through. But she was real. She not only went through the genocide, but she went through Hollywood exploitation as well. This story isn’t just about teaching people about the genocide; it’s about honoring her story,” said Saakyan, who is based in London.
The podcast delves deep into Aurora’s life, weaving together her oral testimonies and interviews with those who knew her intimately. The narrative becomes an investigative journey into the fate of a forgotten Armenian genocide survivor turned film star. It unravels the complexities of Hollywood exploitation, the unwavering resilience of a remarkable woman, and the tragic transformation of a once-record-breaking film into a “lost film.”