No Film School: Review

‘Intent to Destroy’: What It’s Like to Expose One of Hollywood’s Most Horrifying Untold Stories.

Joe Berlinger, a prolific documentarian, discusses ‘Intent to Destroy,’ his latest hot-button film.

Some say that the most groundbreaking movies Tribeca Film Festivalhas to offer are in the documentary category. Intent to Destroy, the latest from prolific documentarian Joe Berlinger, is no exception. Like his other work—most notably the Paradise Lost trilogy—this is a film that does not shy away from controversy; instead, it encourages the viewer to draw their own conclusions based on the powerful examination of all sides of an issue.

Using the framework of a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Terry George’s The Promise, Berlinger dives into the history of the Armenian genocide—what happened, how it was covered up, and why the world refuses to acknowledge it.

What Berlinger has produced will give you chills. Intent to Destroy is unlike any other historical account. With deft craftsmanship and a sensitivity to nuance, Berlinger breaks down the 1915 slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish state and the ensuing cover-up, a story that has been systematically silenced by America and Hollywood ever since. The documentary is an engaging portrait of a nation of people brought to their knees—a nation of people that is still rebuilding, 100 years in the wake of the devastation. It’s a grim portrait of our world, which chose diplomacy and censorship in place of humanitarianism.

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