Screamers is a genocide awareness documentary released in 2007, featuring System Of A Down on the road as they share their political views and present rich information on mainly the Armenian genocide, as well as other modern day genocides in like the one in Darfur. Screamers stresses the importance of acknowledging a genocide in order to prevent its future occurrence. It reached critical success as it was screened at several universities and schools, selected in the United Nations film festival in Tokyo and won the AFI Audience Award for Best Documentary in 2006.
Here’s the trailer:
SOAD members talk about the band’s anti-genocide message being a duty to them, given their ancestors’ history being passed down to them through generations of survival.
The story of the Armenian genocide is told by Serj Tankian’s grandfather and others who survived the great ordeal. Political analyses and opinions are also contributed by people like Lord Avebury and Lord Shannon from the UK’s House of Lords, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds and journalist Hrant Dink who was assassinated when Screamers was released (view the complete contributors list HERE).
The 95 minute documentary is packed with intense moments, both emotional, historical and political. One notable set of scenes shows Serj Tankian’s activist role in a peaceful public assembly where he delivers the Armenian genocide resolution to Dennis Hastert (U.S speaker of the house of international affairs), as only the speaker of the house has the power to allow the proposition to go to a full house vote (quoting from Serj “he’s had the opportunity a number of times in the past to do so, but hasn’t taken it up, for whatever reason political or otherwise”).
Sibel Edmonds adds by talking about the pressure groups and companies that are actively preventing the genocide resolution from taking place, by bribing the members of the U.S Congress. Quoting Sibel: “FBI, the department of justice, had in its possession evidence, documented, people on tape, approving these activities”, “the department of justice was getting ready to publicly and officially investigate certain U.S officials, but then under the pressure directly from the Pentagon and the department of state, they were asked not to go down that road, to cover it up, because Turkey’s strategically important, it’s a big client, spending a lot of money, you know, getting the weapons from the United States.” She later on expresses that “People have to realize that things are happening based on profit… not real principles”.
To sum it up, one of the main points mentioned in this documentary is how world politics plays a big role in disregarding humanistic issues when inter-countries political, economical and military relations are involved. System of A Down’s music is bringing this humanistic issue to worldwide attention, by educating their huge fanbase with important political, social and humanistic messages.
Screamers is available to watch in its entirety on the Screamers Youtube Channel (view Links below), so make sure you watch it if you still haven’t.