Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac fight for survival in The Promise trailer

Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon in The Promise

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

Historical drama The Promise promises a hard-hitting look in a hugely turbulent and controversial corner of 20th century history. Terry George’s film makes its bow at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) today and has a new trailer in advance of that premiere. Watch it below.

George has proved that he's unafraid to bring the bleak issue of genocide to the big screen with Hotel Rwanda. That one made an impression with Academy voters and don’t bet against The Promise, with powerhouse male leads in Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, doing likewise in the new year.

Isaac plays an Armenian apothecary who finds himself caught up in growing tension between his people and the Turkish authorities in and around mid-1910s Constantinople. Christian Bale’s AP reporter and his Armenian girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon) are likewise embroiled as nationalism, racism and ethnic tensions within the Ottoman Empire spill into first violence and then slaughter.

Like Jack Nicholson’s Eugene O'Neill in Russian Revolution epic Reds and Sam Waterston's Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields, Bale’s Westerner is on hand to record the seismic events taking place around him. The genocide of the Armenians in 1915 remains a hot-button and highly controversial subject, so expect this one to feature on news pages as well as cinema listings when it nears release.

There’s no release date as yet but look out for TIFF reports this week and a UK distributor to pick it up in the near future. Head here for a closer look at the film.

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