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Sylvester Stallone Evokes "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh"

Armen Hareyan's picture

In interview granted to Denver Post online last week, American actor Sylvester Stallone, in admiration for Franz Werfel's book about the Armenian community "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh", leaves the door open to the possible arrangement of this project about which he has spoken for two years in back. "I would like to spend it in writing and directing, less in the public eye but providing something for the public" he said.

So what is the Stallone Surprise, the project he's always wanted to write or direct? For years Stallone's wanted to create an epic, and the book that intrigues him is Franz Werfel's "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh", detailing the Turkish genocide of its Armenian community in 1915. (After futile attempts to turn the novel into a movie, filmmakers finally succeeded in 1982, but it was a low-profile production.) French ships eventually rescued some Armenians, and Stallone has his favorite scene memorized: "The French ships come, and they've dropped the ladders and everybody has climbed up the side. The ships sail. The hero, the one who set up the rescue, has fallen asleep, exhausted, behind a rock on the slope above. The camera pulls back, and the ships and the sea are on one side, and there's one lonely figure at the top of the mountain, and the Turks are coming up the mountain by the thousands on the far side."

A pretty great shot. The movie would be "an epic about the complete destruction of a civilization," Stallone said. Then he laughed at the ambition. "Talk about a political hot potato. The Turks have been killing that subject for 85 years."

By Jean Eckian for


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
hey everyone lets get together on open table, in europe some where, all the historians from all sides. if it was genocide i dont think any armenian would be alive today to tell the story. my sympathy goes to dink family. enough killing from both sides. lets fight global warming instead.

Submitted by erku on

"if it was genocide i dont think any armenian would be alive today" first all all this is a very Cynic way of expressing about millions of people who have perished like Hrant Dink, for just being an Armenian. Also this is sinful against TRUTH.

Second; what do you mean by "enough killing from both sides."? When have the Armenians killed the turks?

If people talk like you without any healing, there won't be any dialogue.

It was nice of the Turkish people standing up today saying "we are all Armenians, we are all Dink." But can you care for a second that so many people have been killed for just being Armenians?

In my opinion Turkey is today in a very dangerous situation. Either the society will recognize the Armenian genocide and heal, or the Turkish nationalism will take over the country. The later has not been a good option for any society.

The issue of the Armenian Genocide will serve as catalyst.

Submitted by Rueben (not verified) on

Yeah, and while we're at it, let's "...get together on open table [sic]..." and get to the truth of whether Adolph Hitler ordered the extermination of all Jews, and whether he indeed succeeded in slaughtering over 6 million innocent Jewish civilians.

What an idiot!

"If it was genocide i [sic] dont think any armenian [sic] would be alive today to tell the story."

Again, what an idiot!

I suppose, by your logic, since there were survivors of Hitler's slaughter of Jews, Pol Pot's slaughter of 2 million suspected non-communists, Rwanda's slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis, Turkey's slaughter of 1.5 Armenians, etc, that these are not genocides.

For your information, the term 'genocide' was invented in 1944 by Raphael Lemke in order to precisely and efficiently describe what Turkey did to Armenians, and what the NAZIs did to Jews.

80% of the Armenians living at that time in what is now Eastern Turkey, Northern Syria, Northern Iraq were exterminated by Turkey under Kemal Ataturk, by Turkish soldiers and hired Kurdish thugs under command of Talat Pasha and Enver Pasha.

Before you go spouting off nonsense, and proving yourself to be a complete idiot, you should make some kind of effort to know what you're writing about.

Of course, you would never do that because (can you guess?), you're an idiot!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
you idiot if the armenian genocide never happened then the jewish holocaust never happened....just because there is no advertising about the armenian genocide like there is of the holocaust doesnt mean it never happened ... and to correct you it was a genocide and more then 1.5 miliion people died....but thankfully there are those who survived and were here to keep the truth out1!!!

Submitted by Armenian (not verified) on

This movie needs to be made to show the world what monsters Turks really are.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Unfortunately, both Stallone's plans to make the movie, and a 2009 plan by Mel Gibson, died under organized Turkish email campaigns to pressure them to cancel their plans. See wikiped** article "The_Forty_Days_of_Musa_Dagh") and its references. Unfortunately, the official line by Turkey (believed by many, if not most Turkish nationals - what they've been told all of their lives) is still that there was no genocide, and that any attacks against Armenians were provoked by the Armenians. However, most of the rest of the world recognizes that there was indeed a major genocide. Threats of retaliation by Turkey have kept this from being as well-known as it should be - money and political power still often speak louder than the truth.

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