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Intent to Destroy (2017)

Filmmaker Joe Berlinger meets with historians and scholars to discuss the Armenian Genocide and the continuing denial by the Turkish government of it ever happening.


Joe Berlinger
7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Herself
Taner Akçam ... Himself - Historian
Hagop Asadourian Hagop Asadourian ... Himself (archive footage)
Peter Balakian Peter Balakian ... Himself
Christian Bale ... Himself
Ian Bedford ... Himself
Michael Bobelian Michael Bobelian ... Himself
Paul Boghossian Paul Boghossian ... Himself
Eric Bogosian ... Himself
Vicken Cheterian Vicken Cheterian ... Himself
Lee Cleary Lee Cleary ... Himself
Hrant Dink ... Himself (archive footage)
Atom Egoyan ... Himself
John Marshall Evans ... Himself
Carla Garapedian ... Herself


Academy Award® nominated director Joe Berlinger embeds himself on the epic film set of Terry George's The Promise (2016) to take an unwavering look at the Armenian Genocide. Historians, scholars and filmmakers come together in Berlinger's cinematic exploration of the tangled web of responsibility that has driven a century of denial by the Turkish government and its strategic allies. Intent to Destroy (2017) is a timely reckoning with the large-scale suppression of a historical tragedy. Berlinger confronts the fraught task of shedding light on the Armenian Genocide - whose witnesses and descendants are still fighting to be officially acknowledged as such by the international community - how it was carried out during World War I as the reign of the Ottoman Empire drew to a close, and how it laid the groundwork for the genocides that followed. Written by Tribeca Film Festival 2017

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Death, denial, and depiction See more »




Official Sites:

Official site | Survival Pictures





Release Date:

10 November 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Det armenske folkedrab See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,699, 12 November 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Features The Promise (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

The sickening truth of official Turkish falsehood.
21 July 2017 | by alexdeleonfilmSee all my reviews

Intent to Destroy" ~~ The sickening truth of official Turkish falsehood. Documentary Filmmaker Joe Berlinger meets with historians and scholars to discuss the Armenian Genocide.

Viewed at the 14th Golden Apricot film festival in Yerevan. The 2017 Yerevan film festival closed appropriately with a brutally frank exposition of the outrageous ongoing Turkish denial of the mass massacre=>Genocide of Armenians in the Imperial Ottoman Turkey of 1915 - 1916. The name of the film is "Intent to Destroy" by New York Jewish filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Mr. Berlinger took the stage to introduce the film and described himself as "a nice Jewish boy from New York" who has always identified with the Armenians "because of our shared genocide experience".

The title of this detailed dissection of Turkish Genocide Denial is a direct reference to the wording of the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide that officially defined genocide as a government acting with specific "Intent To Destroy" a people or race -- as was the deliberate premeditated policy of the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915 to ethnically cleanse Turkey of all its original Armenian inhabitants -- a people who were there from time immemorial, thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Seljuk Turks from central Asia.

This Denial documentary is embedded in a most intricate manner into a recent fiction film about the Genocide, 'The Promise" which was made in Spain in 2016, starring Hollywood actor Christian Bale of Batman fame and helmed by hard-hitting Irish director Terry George. Mr. Berliner's purpose, to pit the fictionalized account of the genocide itself against the grotesque International Turkish campaign to "enforce" denial of same -- like "No, this was not a Turkish government policy -- just some collateral damage in which many Muslims were also killed" ~~ Yeah, Yeah!

To press home his point Berlinger includes testimony by numerous academic historians, many Armenian Professors at American Universities, and there is a most compelling sequence featuring Canadian Armenian film director Atom Egoyan, which is one of the pinnacles of the picture and more or less sums up the issues in a small number of eloquently emotional minutes. What makes the denial position even more stomach turning is the seemingly sincere testimony of a number of dedicated deniers, one an American Academician, Justin McCarthy. About the deniers says Berlinger: "I accept them at face value letting them voice their opinions. I think they have also been victims of the Turkish propaganda campaign for the last century. A lot of people don't believe it's Genocide (as officially defined by the U.N.) -- the denial campaign has been so effective in sowing doubt and delivering their narrative that these were just casualties of war.. ".

Berlinger's tremendous opus, with copious historical documentation of the final days of the Ottoman Empire, leaves no doubt as to the sickening truth of official Turkish falsehood and will probably bring on a new wave of denial double-talk from Constantinople and efforts to have it suppressed through political pressure. Most sickening of all is the fact that the US Government, to this day, in order to protect its military interests in ever more and more autocratic Turkey under neo-Sultan Erdogan, continues to yield to Turkish political pressure by studiously avoiding the "G" word in reference to the uprooting of The Armenians from Turkish soil. Disgaceful Hypocisy at the highest levels. Other democratic governments like France and Germany have officially passed legislation naming the murderous dispersal of the Armenians from their homeland "with intent to Destroy" as Genocide much to the consternation of the present Ankara Regime

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