Synopsis and Current Status
Diana Apcar, consul to Japan from Armenia, was an idealistic Armenian woman living in Yokohama at the time when women and politics rarely coexisted. For years she tried to attract attention to the plight of the Armenians perishing under Ottoman rule, writing constantly.
Her books, articles and letters to world leaders show her deep insight into world politics, blaming the European Powers for setting the framework to allow the Armenian Genocide, and forecasting continuing atrocities towards the Armenians. She pleads with her readers. But her voice remains unheard, and her worst predictions come true.
Some survivors flee to Russia only to find the country deep in revolution and civil war: “the only safe direction is east.” Many of the survivors have relatives in the U.S. and wish to join them; their hopes fade as they travel thousands of miles across Siberia. In Japan, Diana is eagerly helping these people. They are desperate, penniless, undocumented and lost. Will they even be able to survive?
Contrasting textures and sounds of Japan, Russia, India, and the Ottoman Empire paint the picture of this dangerous journey, a story of loss and hope.
We are very proud to have the San Francisco Film Society as our fiscal sponsor: we appreciate their confidence in our success and aspire to their high standards of performance.
Over 36 months, we have conducted twenty interviews (approximately 45 hours total) with scholars, theologians, an ambassador and descendants of refugees helped by Diana. As a result, our understanding of the political issues and the cultural context of the time grew dramatically. Additionally, our original research on Diana Apcar, as well as on those Armenian refugees who went east, through Siberia, enabled us to create an extensive archive on this topic: 260 documents from our archive are available on this website (over 900 pages in total).
In January, as we moved into post-production, with our practically completed script and descriptive concepts for the animated turning points of the film, we hired an artist to illustrate these scenes. These images are now 65% complete: we have recently started their animation and are developing their voice-over narrative with music.