By ANGELA DAWSON
Special to Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Many are familiar with the atrocities committed against the Armenians by the Turks in the early part of the 20th century. But the ruthless Ottoman Empire didn’t stop there. In 1922, the Turks burned the cosmopolitan city of Smyrna to the ground. For centuries, the seaside community had been a place where Greeks, Turks, Jews, Armenians and Levantines once co-existed in harmony.
This year, on the 100th anniversary of that horrific and senseless tragedy, “Smyrna,” an epic film based on true events has been made. It tells the story of the mass murder and purging of survivors from the viewpoint of an elderly woman who recounts the details of her family’s experience in her diary.
Released to great acclaim in Greece, the film garnered six Hellenic Academy Awards. It now arrives on the big screen in the U.S., home to millions of Greek-Americans, and will be playing in 700 theaters nationwide on Thursday, December 8 as one-night only Fathom Events release. (For ticket information, go to: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/Smyrna?date=2022-12-08.)
Written by Mimi Denissi in collaboration with two-time Tony Award nominee, Martin Sherman, the epic war drama “Smyrna” holds the record as the most expensive Greek film ever made. It is directed by Grigoris Karantinakis with an international cast including Mimi Denissi, Leonidas Kakouris, Burak Hakki, Katerina Geronikolou, Jane Lapotaire, Susan Hampshire, Rupert Graves, Christos Stergioglou and Daphne Alexander.
It is produced by Tanweer Productions with Dionyssis Samiotis serving as producer alongside executive producers Joseph Samaan and Mimi Denissi. U.S. promotional partners include Antenna 1 Satellite (ANT1), AHEPA and Papadopoulou.
Twice-nominated Academy Award nominee Atom Egoyan, who chronicled the genocide of the Armenian people at the hands of the Turks in his 2002 epic “Ararat,” has called “Smyrna,” “an urgent multilayered examination of an unspeakable atrocity. (It is) told with great passion and brimming with outrage.”
You can view the “Smyrna” trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loDP92AFmzg.