52 minutes, 2015
Director: Anna BENJAMIN (France) and Guillaume CLERE (France)
Production Company: Découpages, Toute l’Histoire (France)
Armen, Dogukan, Yasar and Nazli are Turks and Kurds. But a recent discovery has upset their existence: they are also Armenian.
In 1915, their parents or grandparents survived the genocide by hiding their true identity. Some were rescued by Turkish and Kurdish families, others went into hiding. All converted to Islam, were assimilated and forgotten.
Today, after a century of fear and silence, this history has resurfaced. Over the last ten years, more and more Turks are discovering this family secret and claiming their ancestors’ Armenian heritage. While Armenians across the world prepare to commemorate the centenary of the genocide, “L’Heritage du Silence” gives a face to these descendants of Islamised Armenians, who are probably more than a million today in Turkey .
The film follows Armen, Dogukan, Yasar and Nazli in their struggle on an inner journey through the history which was told to them and hidden from them.
Anna BENJAMIN, graduating in 2012 from Strasbourg’s school of journalism (Cuej), made this documentary having worked on several on-line current affairs sites such as LeMonde.fr, TF1 News, the TF1 and LC1 web-sites, Rue89 and LesInrocks. Co-author of two web-documentaries, “Palestiniennes, Mères Patrie” and “Etudiants en Temps de Guerre”, today she is making longer documentaries.
Guillaume CLERE was born in Singapore. He grew up in Portugal, France and the Lebanon, then studied in Latin America. He has always been fascinated by questions of identity. During his training as photojournalist at Strasbourg’s school of journalism (CUEJ), he made a transmedia documentary “I Goth My World”, broadcast on Arte, lemonde.fr and LesInrocks in October 2012. He worked for 2 years as investigative photojournalist for LCP’s État de santé. He was also cameraman on “Renaître à Bahia”, a 52-minute documentary on KTO