The screening was organized at the initiative of the Director of the Centre “Modus Vivendi” and YSU Cultural Centre. The creative team of the movie was also present at this event.
“In recent years we have heard a lot about the hidden Armenians, but it seemed to us like an abstract phenomenon. Today you will meet with one such family. In 70 years, the head of the family decided to return to his roots, converted to Christianity, was baptized and bequeathed to his family to do so,” - said Mr. Papyan.
Harutyun Ires was born in Dersim, but in 1938, when he was still a child, the family was deported to Kyutai and Harutyun returned in Dersim in a few years. He remembers how his parents secretly prayed, explaining nothing to children.
“When we attended school, everyone said: “This people are Armenians”. We asked our parents, who are Armenians, but they used to repeat: “This is not your business.” Later they moved to Istanbul and lived quietly. However, my wife was still against these changes, despite the fact that she is Armenian,”- says Harutyun Ires.
Film by the grandson of Harutyun Ires, documentary filmmaker Ugur Egemen Ires, tells about the family conflicts and quarrels that were constantly taking place in the family before they decided to return to their roots.
“For many years I have witnessed quarrels and disputes of my grandparents - to declare they are Armenians or not? One cannot blame my grandmother in anything, because the Armenians are very much pressed, and she wanted to live in peace as before, but I am proud of my grandfather’s decision,” - said the Director, adding that now 3-4 million hidden Armenians live in Turkey, and the number of the Armenians who recognize their national identity, does not reach a hundred.
The young director was born and raised in Istanbul. It took him about two years to persuade his grandfather to tell his story on camera. The result is a 20-minute documentary. This is a film about the issue of public importance.
The film screening was attended by students and lecturers, as well as those who have been interested in the story of this family.
The screening was followed by a discussion in the question and answer format. The questions were not about only the history of this family, but also the problems faced by all of the hidden Armenians.