“Keep silent in order to survive”

Robert Guédiguian


“We have seen it in other genocides, the first generations of survivors must be silent and forget, in order to survive. It is known process. It takes a time when these atrocities, or the memory of these atrocities, disappear in order to “come alive”. After, some talk about what they went through, but much later. You need an airlock, sometimes very long. It is the generation after that tells what happened to the generation before. I have always been concerned about Armenia and the recognition of the genocide. But I think it’s universal history, and I’ve always tried to get universal things out of this story of mine. My great-uncle Toross Guédiguian played an important role in this awareness. The first time I went to the Cannes Film Festival, in 1980, he was crying on the phone. He told me : “You haven’t changed your name like Henri Verneuil. When I see it on the bill, it’s proof that the Armenians are still there, that we are not dead. ” “


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