Haigazian University organized the Lebanese premiere of the movie “Map of Salvation”, on Thursday, 14th of July, 2016, in the ABC Grand Cinemas, Beirut – Lebanon.
The capacity audience of 350 people, filling two main movie halls, included religious leaders, among others Mgr. Gabriel Caccia, Ambassador of the Vatican, officials, community leaders, and supporters of the Armenian Cause.
Specially here were the narrator of the movie, genocide scholar Svante Lundgren from Finland, as well as the movie producer Manvel Saribekyan from Armenia.
“Map of Salvation” is a documentary produced by MAN Pictures, about the humanitarian wave of support and resistance during the Armenian Genocide. It tells the story of 5 women: Maria Jacobsen (Denmark), Karen Jeppe (Denmark), Bodil Bjorn (Norway), Alma Johansson (Sweden), and Anna Hedvig Büll (Estonia) who had left their comfortable lives in Europe and come to the Armenian lands, to devote their lives selflessly and unconditionally to the citizens enduring a genocide.
President Haidostian's reflections
The MAP OF SALVATION film (MAN Pictures 2015) is a contrast of maps.
The Armenian Genocide was planned and executed using clear maps and plots, yet partial salvation came through compassionate persons, organizations, and missionaries whose main map was that of the heart. It was faith, empathy and selflessness that moved them and penciled their saving map wherever the victimized and vulnerable children and women found shelter.
Screening the film at Beirut’s ABC Grand Cinemas on July 14, 2016 led me once more to appreciate the power of image, movement, music, word, story and voice all come together, and film director Aram Shahbazyan had successfully integrated them all.
A small part of the Genocide story was told, and a humble part of the heart-warming journey of the five women missionaries was presented. The large part was left to the viewers: to look back, to learn, to be thankful, to think about today, and to be inspired for tomorrow.
Film producer Manvel Saribekyan’s presence with us from Armenia, and film narrator Svante Lundgren’s personal message made our day much more meaningful.
Such films do not belong to the screens. They belong to our hearts. Manvel is a tireless producer and a man of vision, and Svante is a Genocide scholar and theologian who has enriched the MAP OF SALVATION through his personality.
The MAP OF SALVATION felt only like a start of a new journey to recapture the beauty of faith on the ugly pages of human intrigue. There is more to the story, and more in the story, waiting to be unearthed.
Rev. Paul Haidostian, Ph.D.
President, Haigazian University