‘The Promise’ Star Shohreh Aghdashloo on How Film is Relevant to Today’s Syrian Crisis (Exclusive Video)

Toronto 2016: “If we are not aware of the fact that there are genocides around the world still … then we are in the same place as we were 100 years ago,” the actress tells TheWrap

“The Promise” star Shohreh Aghdashloo believes that her film, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this week, sheds light on today’s Syrian crisis.

“What takes place in the movie 100 years ago, the Armenian Genocide and the background of this beautiful triangle love story, is what has been happening for the last 100 years and it is still happening,” the Iranian-American actress said in an interview with TheWrap.

“It was so important for all of us to bring it to people’s attention. Like ‘Hey, if we don’t pay more attention to this, if we are not aware of the fact that there are genocides around the world still, and if we keep denying it, then we are in the same place as we were 100 years ago. Have we learned anything from what took place in the past?”

Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, “The Promise” follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris — a renowned American journalist based in Paris. The film also stars Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale and is directed by Terry George.

Aghdashloo spoke about the crisis in Syria during its civil war, which started in March 2011 as part of the Arab Spring. She claims the government of Syria is denying that a genocide is taking place, much like the Turkish state denied that the Armenian Genocide occurred in the early 1900s.

“Allow me to bring you to today’s world, same thing: The government of Syria is rejecting the fact that it is a genocide, that a genocide is taking place in Syria,” she added. “So perhaps, it makes the movie timeless in a way and very relevant to what is happening nowadays.”

Watch the video above.