Washington, DC — Over 150 congressional staffers and community activists were present for a special April 9th Capitol Hill screening of “The Lark Farm” (La Masseria delle Allodole), a powerful film depicting the events of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, Eastern Region (ANCA-ER).
Hosted by the ANCA-ER, in cooperation with Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-3), “The Lark Farm” tells the moving story of an Italian Armenian family planning a visit to their home in Ottoman Turkey, only to be caught up in the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. It is based on the novel “Skylark Farm” by Antonia Arslan, which has thus far won 17 book awards in Europe, including the Italian P.E.N. Club Award. Already translated into fourteen languages, “Skylark Farm” was recently selected as a First Fiction Finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Addressing the crowd during his introductory remarks, Cong. Lipinski stated, “I am very happy to have been able to play this role in bringing this film here up to Capitol Hill. I know that the issue of the Armenian Genocide is one that we have to keep working on bringing public attention to. Unfortunately, it has been swept under the rug and we really need to shine the light on it. This film really helps to do that, and to spread the word about what happened there to so many millions of Armenians.” The representative concluded with “We need to fight against genocide wherever it occurs to prevent future genocides.”
The Lark Farm, directed by brothers Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani, was featured at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as in Spain and Armenia. With an outstanding international cast, including Paz Vega, Mohammed Bakri, Tcheky Karyo and Arsinee Khanjian, the film helps the viewer understand the struggles and devastation that the Armenians endured from Turkish authorities during the genocide.
Following the movie, Arslan addressed the crowd, during which attendees thanked her for all that she had done to raise awareness on this issue. On tour in America to promote her novel, which has recently been released in paperback, Arslan has traveled throughout the world speaking to hundreds of thousands about the story of her family. “I am very excited about being in America. The warm welcome from the various audiences I have spoken to, both Armenian and non-Armenian, has been wonderful. I hope the novel and the movie can play a role in connecting not only the Armenian communities throughout the Diaspora, but also in connecting Armenians to those who do not have any connection to the Armenian people at all. My family’s story is really the story of all those who struggled – and continue to struggle – for survival, for life, during and after a genocide.”
Siobhan Nash-Marshall, Professor of Philosophy at Manhattanville College in New York City and close friend of Arslan, made a powerful closing statement at the event, “Without truth, there is no peace.” Marshall, who hosted a book reading of Skylark Farm at Manhattanville College earlier this month, has been instrumental in pursuing the advancement of this issue through education.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption #1: Antonia Arslan (center) and Siobhan Nash Marshall, (immediate left) surrounded by ANCA National and Eastern Region staff
Photo Caption #2: Rep. Lipinski (D-IL-3) addressing the crowd
Photo Caption #3: Author Antonia Arslan during the question and answer