Christian Bale: We’re watching Trump read a ‘Dictatorship for Dummies book’

'The Promise' Screening in New York

Christian Bale is promoting The Promise, the film about the Armenian genocide. Apparently, this film was made specifically so more people would be exposed to the historical reality of the Armenian genocide, in which the Ottomans (present-day Turkey) murdered 1.5 million Armenians in a massive, multi-year holocaust. Present-day Turkey refuses to acknowledge the genocide in any way, and there has been a century-long disinformation campaign. As in, there are “truthers” who believe the genocide never happened. Christian Bale discussed all of this and more with the Daily Beast – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

On whether this is an “important film that needed to be made”: “I usually hate those words about film—“important,” “needed”—it feels way too precious, doesn’t it? And actually, regardless of the content, you must make films engaging first and foremost, otherwise go make a documentary (and I love watching documentaries). But this film particularly has had so many attempts made to make it, and it’s been thwarted again and again. [By the Turkish government.] Yes. And with the business value of Turkey, in terms of the movie studios, and the strategic value in terms of the U.S. itself, there’s been a hundred years of managing to really silence the facts about the genocide.

Ignorance about the Armenian genocide: “The thing that stunned me, first off, was my total ignorance about this subject, and then the altruism—two different instances of it. During the genocide, there was an enormous outpouring of compassion for Armenians from the American public. You had actors like Jackie Coogan doing national tours trying to get people to donate, and The New York Times did article after article about it. In spite of the fact that you had so much knowledge of these atrocities, you had the biggest international relief effort ever at that time—the money donated would be equivalent to billions nowadays—and yet still, when it came to actually deciding the future of the Armenian people, that all got pushed to the side in the interest of the massive resources of the Ottoman Empire, and everybody seemed to turn a blind eye. So the enormous question is: Could these other genocides have been prevented if there had been appropriate consequences for the Armenian genocide?

The history that can be pushed aside: “You’re going from the crumbling Ottoman Empire to the birth of the nation of Turkey, and you had this great Turkish nationalism at the time. The documentation [of the genocide] was there because, prior to the U.S. entering into the war, U.S. missionaries were all there documenting the accounts of the genocide. But nobody knows about it. That’s the stunning thing to me: the way history can just be pushed away. We’ve all got our lives, we’ve all got the shit that we’re dealing with each and every day, and most of the time we either don’t have time, or are completely unaware.”

The post-truth era: “We’re living in the post-truth era…. People are questioning facts, which is nuts. I liken it to the “debate” on climate change. There’s no debate! The science is settled. But people continue to do this smokescreen and pretend that there’s a debate, you know? And I think the Armenian genocide is the same in that there is no debate. The evidence is in. And hopefully what is needed is not more hostility—it’s healing, it’s help, and of course there’s the complication of reparations and the desire not to admit that your country is born out of one of the worst atrocities known to mankind.

Russia & Putin suppressing journalists: “Which is worrying, isn’t it, for us right now? It’s like we’re watching somebody reading a Dictatorship for Dummies book. [Cable news] is all opinion. But the silver lining is what? I remember prior to the election I thought it was batsh-t crazy that people would talk about how there’ll be “a revolution in appreciation of what we have and not taking it for granted,” and you think no way in hell. But we’re here, and you think, well OK, that’s your best bet, isn’t it? So the hope is that journalism becomes more exceptional than it has been in decades, and that we start to recognize and treasure it—to treasure so many different things. There have always been people doing that [carrying water for a political group], but it just seems like there’s been a confusion of entertainment and news, and the desire for ratings, etc. has created this idea of “questionable truths” and “alternative facts.” I mean, my god.”

[From The Daily Beast]

You know what sort of surprises me? How many foreign actors live full-time in America these days and how they absorb so much of our political stuff and they’re still sticking around. Bale and his family live in LA now, and as you can see, he keeps up with the American political news, but not only that… he’s not leaving! Personally, if I was the citizen of another country and living in America during Emperor Bigly’s Rise to Power, I would have left the country. As for what he says about everything… I think he’s right on. I like that he talks about the documentation of the genocide and how, really, that hasn’t mattered because most people don’t know about it.

'The Promise' Screening in New York

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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16 Responses to “Christian Bale: We’re watching Trump read a ‘Dictatorship for Dummies book’”

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  1. Desi says:

    Hey, at least he’s reading, right?

    . . . right?

    smh

  2. Jenns says:

    Like Trump reads.

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    I’m not surprised at all that he and other celebs aren’t leaving. Leaving a country where you’ve made a home is a big deal and right now, nothing is happening that is affecting their lives in a tangible way. By that I mean they have money, they live in nice neighborhoods, their kids are fine. It hasn’t had an effect on their daily lives.

    I’m so happy that this film has been made. The topic is important. I have a hard time respecting any country that refuses to deal with its past. Which … doesn’t leave many I guess?

    • Sixer says:

      Also – coming home right now would be rather like out of the frying pan and into the fire! As the Sixlets are finding out.

  4. Kealeen says:

    Worth noting: His late father was married to Gloria Steinem.

  5. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Given whats happening in the world right now more movies like this need to be made and shown to everyone. History is starting to repeat itself.

    On a fangirl note – i love Bale, esp with the beard.

  6. Radley says:

    I agree with his comments. Especially about the problem of “infotainment” in news. Too many partisan talking heads, not enough real journalism. Get back to digging, researching, getting good sources and breaking news. There’s too many delicate botoxed princes and princesses bringing us the news. Go get your hands dirty.

    Trump’s laziness and incompetence would be shocking except it’s what I expected from someone with a track record of failure and who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

    • Original T.C. says:

      +10000000

      The media went for a loooong time without using the word “lies” about Trump’s braindroppings of BS because they were afraid of offending his supporters hoping they will watch their channels. Now it’s not only lies but racism. They find it “inflammatory” to call racism, “racism” again not to offend Trump supporters. Oh yeah and how many news channels called Trump’s admission of sexual assault “sexual assault”? We have to call White Supremacist “alt-right”.

      I’m so glad Ivanka was grilled by our German friends. It must have embarrassed the US press because now they are at least giving her a few substantive questions.

  7. mee says:

    He’s the best. (Bale, in case there’s any confusion.) I saw him on CBS’ morning show and he was so hot. his comments about everything are on point. Trump is now wondering whether he can get a postcard summary of Dictatorship for Dummies.

  8. African Sun says:

    Wow he looks so handsome in the first pic, and dare I say warm and friendly with his cutie pie smile.

    I have loved him ever since he was in that Empire film when he was a child. Great actor, gorgeous.

    I realise my comment is not cerebral but could not help myself!

  9. Tiffany says:

    Well, he is not wrong. Wait, I take that back, it could be Dictators for Dummies on audiobook.

  10. Anare says:

    Hot and well spoken! 😍

  11. Dawnie says:

    Yup. Loved him since Empire of the Sun too! Great acting and fantastic singing! I think that was him actually singing.

    I think he is a thoughtful, discerning guy. I love what he says here about Trump, facts, etc. I know there is debate (I see it on here and elsewhere) about celebrities and politics, but I think we are a worldwide culture (being connected as we are with movies/social media/etc.) that sees celebrities very easily. We hear them in interviews, they are asked political questions. At least I see some of them (Mr. Bale here) reflecting my thoughts and feelings. It isn’t so hard to listen to all the perspectives and get lost right now. Especially with the divides in our county happening even in immediate families. Right on, Christian!

    I must add, seems like a great dad and devoted hubby. So hot! My celebrity crush, along with Robert Downey Jr.