Launch Radio Networks reports: A new documentary about the history of genocide throughout the 20th century, featuring SYSTEM OF A DOWN, will premiere in Los Angeles on December 8, with the film expanding to New York and other selected cities in January. Titled "Screamers", the film examines why genocides continue to occur, from the 1915 Armenian extermination to the Holocaust to more recent atrocities in Rwanda and Darfur. The members of SYSTEM OF A DOWN are all grandchildren of survivors of the Armenian genocide, during which the Turkish government slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians. Turkey has denied its actions despite historical and eyewitness evidence.
"Screamers" was directed by filmmaker Carla Garapedian, who is also an Armenian-American. SYSTEM OF A DOWN frontman Serj Tankian told Launch about his and the band's participation in the project. "I've helped kind of advise Carla as the film started, and I got the band involved, SYSTEM OF A DOWN involved, and she basically came and shot a number of our shows and followed the band through our recognition campaign for the Armenian genocide," he said. "She's also interviewed a lot of activists, scholars, people in the government in different countries — U.S., Europe, a lot of different countries in Europe."
The film also features an interview with Tankian's grandfather, who is one of the few remaining eyewitnesses of the genocide.
Tankian and drummer John Dolmayan met with members of Congress last April to lobby for legislation recognizing the genocide. The bill has been blocked by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who, according to Vanity Fair, has received $500,000 in campaign contributions from the Turkish government to block the vote.
SYSTEM OF A DOWN is currently on an extended hiatus following the release of its "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize" albums last year and the touring that followed.