Promise, The: Terry George’s Political Drama, Starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaacs

Terry George’s The Promise is set in 1914, when the Great War looms, and the Ottoman Empire is crumbling.

Constantinople, the once vibrant, multicultural capital on the shores of the Bosporus, is about to be ruined by chaos.

Michael Boghosian (Oscar Isaac), arrives in the cosmopolitan hub as a medical student determined to bring modern medicine back to Siroun, his ancestral village in Southern Turkey where Turkish Muslims and Armenian Christians have lived side by side for centuries.

Meanwhile, photo-journalist Chris Myers (Christian Bale), has arrived in part to cover geo-politics. He is in love with Ana (Charlotte le Bon), an Armenian artist he has accompanied from Paris after the sudden death of her father.

When Michael meets Ana, their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men. As the Turks form an alliance with Germany and the Empire turns violently against its own ethnic and religious minorities, their conflicting passions must be deferred while they join forces to survive even as events threaten to overwhelm them.

Promises are made and promises are broken, hence the film’s title.  But the one promise that must be kept is to live on and tell the story.