Powerful contribution to the anti-genocide movement.
Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America
The Armenian Diaspora is one of the largest in the world. The foundation of its identity is not only nostalgia for a homeland lost but, to a greater extent, a trauma caused by an event which, a century later, still evokes international controversy when referred to as what it really was. The people shown in the documentary have no doubts: the murderous march of 1915 was the genocide of Armenians by Turks who, depending on various estimates, killed from four hundred thousand to a million people. The few survivors scattered all over the world. Some settled in California, for example the grandfather of one of the members of System of a Down. Today, the alternative metal band holds a powerful weapon in a battle against oblivion and indifference: music. Using simple lyrics, shrill riffs and a wall of drums, they demand that crimes like this never happen again.
Directed by Carla Garapedian
Produced by Nick De Grunwald, Carla Garapedian, Peter McAlevey
Music: Jeff Atmajian
Starring: Hrant Dink, John Dolmayan, Sibel Edmonds, Daron Malakian
Production: Great Britain, 2006
- In 2006, "Screamers" won the AFI Audience Award for Best Documentary.
- Group System Of A Down wrote the music for the film "Screamers". Artists are also co-authors of the work.
- Hrant Dink, one of the characters of the film "Screamers" was murdered 19 January 2007.
- The film was shot in Amsterdam (Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Los Angeles, California and Washington, DC (USA).
- "Screamers" is now shown in Armenian Youth organizations to explain and clarify the Armenian Genocide, and raise awareness. Also, it is used to educate the Armenians who do not know about the genocide or non-Armenians.
- The UN Secretary General requested to remove a sentence referring to a million Armenians being murdered during the Ottoman Empire from the Aegis Trust exhibition “Lessons from Rwanda,” and the exhibition’s subsequent cancellation
- Since the film's making, journalist Hrant Dink, who was interviewed for the documentary was assassinated.
New York Times--"... this invigorating and articulate film unfolds at the sensitive intersection of entertainment and politics … the harrowing reminiscences of the lead singer Serj Tankian's grandfather, one of the few remaining Armenian eyewitnesses, make the suffering personal." (Jeannette Catsoulis, 1/25/07)
The sound is largely assaulting, angry, edgy rock on the order of heavy metal. But it's metal with a message. The group's lead vocalist Serj Tankian, articulate and deeply engaged in the cause to wipe out denial and stop genocides, also serves as lead catalyst and outspoken activist. How would Carla Garapedian describe her reaction to System of a Down, that hard rock sound touched by the sound of melismatic Armenian chants? "It's survivor music," says Garapedian.
LADaily News (Review)-- ("***") "'Screamers (director) Garapedian and Producer Peter McAlevey offer much to ponder, not to mention a group with more than fame on its mind." (Even Henerson, Staff Writer, 12/8/06)