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Museum premieres new film in Toronto about Armenian genocide

News release details

Atom Egoyan to lead discussion at public event

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) will premiere its new film about the Armenian genocide as part of a public event tomorrow at the Armenian Youth Centre of Toronto, organized in partnership with the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC).

The free, public event will feature a discussion with renowned Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, who narrated the short documentary that will play in the Museum's "Breaking the Silence" gallery.

The film, Acts of Conscience, looks at the genocide through the lens of Armin T. Wegner, a German war medic who photographed and documented atrocities against the Armenian Christian minority that were occurring around him in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War – including forced "death marches" through the desert. In the 1930s, Wegner also voiced his opposition to the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis and authored an impassioned plea to Hitler on behalf of the Jews of Germany.

Compelled by his conscience to take action despite great personal risk, Wegner's story epitomizes the importance of efforts to combat the denial and minimization that often surround gross human rights violations. 

What: Armenian genocide film premiere with Atom Egoyan
When: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2016
Where: Armenian Youth Centre of Toronto
50 Hallcrown Place, North York

CMHR president and CEO John Young and a representative of the ANCC will make brief remarks. The 12-minute film will be followed by a discussion between CMHR curator Jeremy Maron and Egoyan, who will also invite questions from the audience. Shahen Mirakian, president of the ANCC, will make closing remarks.

Egoyan, an Armenian Canadian, has been an outspoken advocate for recognition of the genocide, helping raise awareness through his 2002 feature film, Ararat, and ongoing advocacy work. He and actor Arsinée Khanjian visited the CMHR in Winnipeg last November for a public event marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide. Khanjian narrated the French version of the CMHR's new documentary.

An exhibit at the CMHR explores the efforts for recognition of the Armenian genocide by Wegner, Egoyan and others. In 2004, Canadian Parliament voted to officially acknowledge and condemn the Armenian genocide.

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