Greek-Australians Offended by Russel Crowe’s Directorial Debut

russel-croweRussell Crowe‘s directorial debut has caused some strong reactions among members of the Greek Diaspora in Australia. The film, entitled “The Water Diviner,” which premiered in the country during Christmas, is set in the early ’20s and focuses on the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in the Battle of Gallipoli.

An Australian farmer travels to Istanbul in search of his three sons after the Battle of Gallipoli. He meets Turkish officials who tell him their side of the story about what happened to ANZAC when they were overtaken by Turkish forces, assisted by German and Austrian troops.

According to Dr. Panagiotis Diamantis, Professor of History (specializing in genocide) at the University of Sydney, Crowe and Greek-Australian screenwriter Andrew Anastasios, who wrote the book that inspired the film, tried to send an anti-war message but ended portraying the victims as perpetrators and the perpetrators as victims.

Both the Armenians and Greeks who lived in the region are portrayed as barbaric and bloodthirsty conquerors, not as natives who were forced to defend themselves against the 1914 Ottoman Empire campaign.

Crowe defended his decision, saying that 100 years later, Australians had the maturity to hear the opposite side of the story. However, Diamantis disagrees, stating that Crowe presented distorted facts.

“The first step in setting right a litany of wrongs is a disclaimer at the beginning of each screening of this film, acknowledging that Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians are the indigenous peoples of Anatolia and that the film may offend them and their descendants,” wrote the professor in an extensive article, published in the Greek Diaspora newspaper Neos Kosmos.


  • Marcus77

    It is not true, Greeks and Armenians were living fine until they were paid and giving false hopes to revolt and start the war against the Turks, Armenians killed 500,000 civilians and fought line side Greek troops, film was perfectly on the point and was perfectly done,its a must see film, there is noting to be offended ,you declare a war on someones soil you aspect to be killed, this cost Turks 150,000 man, so get real and shut up

  • niki

    Armenian genocide…the death march of the Pontian population..Smyrna..is your answer.

  • VanityInsecurity

    If you are going to base your film on a book, then follow the book.

  • Tomo

    Marcus. Respectfully, you are deluded if you think this movie is factual. Furthermore, it is absolutely offensive because movie goers watch this movie and believe it as factual.
    And it simply is not at all.
    Intellectuals and historians of this world know this. As do those who actually dig a little deeper and search for the truth (and I don’t mean google).
    Research Smyrna. Please, do it as a favour to yourself and you will see one bloody example.

    As for territory, please. That ‘territory’ was taken. Remember? You’d be wise not to go down that path of inquiry. You can’t use statements only when it is convenient to your argument.

    The Pontian and Armenian Genocide is real and the way this movie depicts events and the Greek Army is nothing short of insulting. But the real issue is movies are being made about serious issues by whoever wants to make a statement in any way they wish and people believe them blindly as fact. That won’t change. So movies now clearly require a disclaimer as mentioned above in the last paragraph.
    Until a better solution is found.
    The other alternative is to continue to allow inaccurate movies of important historical events to be created and pushed out, effectively conditioning people’s views.

    Think about a similar movie released depicting Australian troops in a negative light. Or the Turkish army. I won’t be graphic but you get the point.

    It’s shameful and nothing less. Facts are facts.

  • ali

    Russel Crowe is an uneducated thug and stupid with it to believe the perpetrators of horrific genocides and war crimes. And to depict it in a film on the hundred years anniversary of the victims of a barbaric nation? Shame on him.I hope people will refuse to pay to watch it.He is beyond contempt.

  • constantine

    You mean rebel against their oppressors the ottoman empire ? Other than the fact that by now the two nations should settle differences amicably doesn’t mean that history has to be rewritten so we appear ‘neutral’ or ‘modest’ .

  • Darren

    No they weren’t you idiot. They were forced to either become muslim and change their identity or flee. There was no in-between. Show me anywhere in Turkey where there are practising Christians? No where. Only the symbolic post of the Arch Bishop Bartholomew.
    This movie isn’t good anyway, but Crowe has totally distorted the facts completely and knows little if anything about history. The sad part is one of the writers for the book is apparently of Greek decent, what a disgrace and a true “prodoti”.

    How many Turks have helped Crowe in his professional life? Zero, but I can name quite a few Greek-Australians who have helped him though. He repays them by distorting the facts in a film which depicts Turks one of the worst offenders of human rights even to this day as being a good people and nation.

  • Marcus77

    idiot there are churches and synagogue in Turkey all over read some history, google Ottoman empire it is in english and listen you may leran something about the Turkish historical tolerance about all kinds of religion, what a dope, l love to educate the ignorant tho

  • LastVeteran .

    The obvious ignorant here is you…
    If you are turk i can understand but if not then you are heavily uneducated…
    Do you know what the word genocide means?
    Go learn some history idiot or at least go suicide, you worth no more than an animal…

  • Marcus77

    I am not a Turk but l can see the hate in you as my Turkish friends tells me about you Armenians keeping your lousy unity under one thought, Hate the Turks, get a life 100 years not you are trying to prove something as of today there is not one court rules in your favor, come up with better documents and better lie, l think you guys are lying to yourself so long you believed your won lies, where are the Bones Turks ask, we find the bones from Egyptian Ferros but no 1,5 ( fake number by the way it went up since it started) was ?? where are the bones???

  • Phil

    Anyone want to bet that Andrew Anastasios is a leftist? Only a leftist would be such a complete moron that they would write a script portraying the occupying oppressive mass murdering Islamofascist Ottomans as “victims” of the war.

    What’s ironic is idiots like Anastasios would almost certainly have been killed by the Ottomans for heresy.

  • Phil

    You are living in a fantasyland if you think the Ottomans were “tolerant”. It was an Islamist state.

  • Phil

    You are an apologist for attempted genocide by the Ottomans.

  • Phil

    By “living fine” you mean second class citizens in an Islamic totalitarian kingdom that was built out of stealing the homelands ingenious locals vis-a-vis mass murder . (see ISIS)

  • Phil

    Orthodox Christianity’s holiest Church was turned into a Mosque by the Ottomans. Can you image how the Ottomans would have reacted if Christians invaded Saudi Arabia and turned Mecca’s Holiest mosque into a church? Would they claim that is “tolerant”?