歴史のドラマ 「約束」アルメニアの大虐殺の毅然とした描写

Historical drama
“The Promise”: an unflinching depiction of the Armenian genocide
Apr 26th 2017by N.E.G.


THE road that an idea takes from the screenwriter’s mind to your local multiplex is besieged by obstacles political, financial and practical in nature. The average blockbuster has to contend with budget fights and studio meddling; a film like “The Promise” is even trickier to bring to the screen. A sweeping historical drama about a national tragedy, it is the sort of movie that Hollywood used to love. But for more than a century, writers and studios have turned their faces away from the story. In many ways, the film succeeds simply by exploring an event that others will not. 

multiplex:シネマコンプレックス 同じ建物内に複数の映画館がある
in nature:この上なく

Taking place in 1915, “The Promise” centres on a passionate love triangle but is set against the genocide perpetrated against Armenians by officials of the Ottoman Empire. Oscar Isaac plays a humble Armenian medical student who tries to escape the massacre and save his family, while falling in love with an American dance instructor (Charlotte Le Bon) thereby earning a rivalry with her journalist boyfriend (Christian Bale). 

set against:を背景として

It is a stirring, if somewhat by-the-numbers depiction of heroism and survival in horrifying times, but it will not make the pantheon of great historical films. The love story is shallowly written, and the charismatic performers often wilt under the haunting scenes of systemic violence. Without a meaningful story on which to hang its historical events, the actors are left looking like vehicles for a history lesson. 

wilt :ぐったりする

Perhaps that is what the film-makers intended. “I didn’t know about the Armenian genocide before,” Mr Isaac noted. “I think, unfortunately, a lot of us in this country and in the West and all around the world have been purposefully kept in the dark about it.” Indeed, the most basic facts are in dispute. Turkey claims that 500,000 Armenians died of hunger and disease in the Syrian desert: they were being deported for supporting Russia in the first world war. Armenian survivors and their descendants place the number of dead at 1.5m, observing Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24th every year. 


They argue that it was a systematic killing rather than an unfortunate side effect of poorly executed policy. Today most scholars recognise the massacre as genocide, yet many Turkish officials still do not. Because Turkey is such an important ally to the West, neither has America, Britain or Israel. On the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama pledged several times to reverse this policy of obfuscation, but he failed to do so once in office. This week, Donald Trump declined to categorise the events depicted in “The Promise” as genocide (though he was happy to call it “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century”). America’s cultural machine is doing what its political machine will not. 


“The Promise” is not for the squeamish. The slaughter is depicted with stark brutality and inarguable cruelty. Key characters are executed suddenly and without warning. A mother is shot in the head in front of her daughter. The population of an entire town is butchered in the matter of minutes, their bodies piled on top of each other beside a river. The film-makers do not use the word “genocide” until the film’s closing moments, but they do not need to: the actions are unmistakable. In one key scene, Mr Isaac’s character discovers a train full of starving Armenians, a sequence often found in Holocaust films, placing these dreadful events in moral context for the audience. 

inarguable :議論の余地がない
in the matter of minutes:ものの数分で

Indeed, while other genocides have found their way to the screen, politics seems to have prevented “The Promise” from making it through the typical channels. Studios are unlikely to take a chance on an expensive film that might anger government officials and geopolitical allies unless they can guarantee that it will be profitable. The film was instead independently financed by the late Kirk Kerkorian, an American billionaire of Armenian descent, who created a film company—Survival Pictures—with the express purpose of educating the world about the Armenian genocide. He sunk $100m into “The Promise”, casting Mr Bale and Mr Isaac to attract an audience. The choice of Terry George as director was inspired, too: his “Hotel Rwanda” (2004) proved that he is able to handle complex conflicts with nuance and sensitivity. 

typical channel:代表的なルート

Still, when the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, it did not set the festival alight. Reviews were middling, and no major distributors were interested. Open Road, a smaller company that had shepherded “Spotlight” to a best picture Oscar, picked it up, decided it wasn’t good enough for awards season, and dumped it in the spring. In its opening weekend it grossed only $4.1m, a historically low amount for a film that cost $100m to make. Insiders speculate that it could gross around $20m worldwide, which by most accounts would make “The Promise” a spectacular failure. 

spectacular :著しい

But “The Promise” cannot be judged in purely economic terms, as Kekorian had little interest in making back his investment. Perhaps we should not judge it on purely artistic terms either. “The Promise” doesn’t seek to break ground: it was created in order to shine light on an oft-ignored historical event, and even with mediocre reviews and middling box-office figures it is achieving that aim. One day, if the history of the Armenian genocide is officially re-written, “The Promise” will have played a part. 

break ground:事業に乗り出す



swingby_blog at 23:28コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Deepening Crisis in the Caribbean
The United States will also have a tough time ignoring the alarms sounding in the Caribbean in the months ahead. Deteriorating economic conditions in Venezuela have finally given way to large demonstrations in the country's urban core, including the poorest neighborhoods of Caracas where the once-powerful ideology of Chavismo has faded. The risk of state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) defaulting on its debt will rise substantially in the second half of the year, adding yet another source of instability. 


As that specter looms, the Venezuelan government — led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro and riddled with corrupt officials trying to evade extradition — will take steps to consolidate power into a one-party state and hunker down for the impending struggle in the streets. But deep rifts among the security and military forces charged with quashing unrest threaten to tear the government apart. The United States has the option of accelerating the administration's collapse by leveling weightier sanctions against PDVSA, but with a number of other crises and priorities to consider, it could opt to keep its distance as the country crumbles from within. 

riddled :いっぱいで
from within:内部から

100 Days in Perspective
Despite the prestige the U.S. presidency traditionally carries, it is an office designed by America's founding fathers to be hemmed in from many sides. And though the executive branch has a little more room to shape foreign policy than domestic law, it must often contend with jagged geopolitical realities that cut into, rather than bend with, the president's worldview. "America First" also means "China First," "Russia First," "Germany First" and so on. 

cut :食い込む

Each state will pursue its national interests and, in doing so, often find its imperatives collide with others'. The irreversible technological, demographic and economic forces shaping global trade, the menace of a Northeast Asian war started by North Korea, the historical distrust between Russia and the West and within Europe itself, and the deeply rooted ideological and sectarian battles being waged within the Islamic world are a daunting collection of crises for any president to grapple with. And whether we look 100 days behind us or 100 days ahead, there is no question that the bounds of U.S. presidential power are being put to the test. 


カリブ海諸国ではベネズエラが問題だが、他の課題を考えるとその優先度は高くないので、アメリカはほっておくだろう。アメリカの大統領は国内問題よりも外交政策を自由に操作できる。America Firstと言っているが、そう簡単ではない。緊急の課題は山積している。グローバルの貿易、北朝鮮、ロシアと西側との不信、EU内部の意思疎通、中東問題。これからの100日をどうしていくのだろうか。



swingby_blog at 21:26コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



Risky Readjustments in the Middle East
As tremors spread across Europe and Asia, the United States will be occupied by trying to dodge pockets of political quicksand throughout the Middle East. The Syrian battlefield offers opportunities for decisive shows of military action, as demonstrated recently when Trump ordered a limited strike on a Syrian air base in response to a chemical weapons attack. But Syria is also a siren song for mission creep that the United States will struggle to resist while staying focused on the fight against the Islamic State. 

decisive show:明白な見世物
mission creep :ミッション・クリープ、終わりの見えない展開 本来は米軍事用語で任務を遂行する上で目標設定が明確でなく当初対象としていた範囲を拡大したり、いつ終わるか見通しが立たないまま人や物の投入を続けていかなくてはならなくなった政策を意味し批判的に使われる言葉

Within that fight, Russia will alternate between playing spoiler and mediator, trying to poke and prod the United States into a more productive dialogue. Turkey, fresh off its win in a recent constitutional referendum, can also be expected to butt heads with the Americans, Russians and Iranians while staking out its own sphere of influence across northern Syria and Iraq in the name of containing the Kurds and protecting the Sunnis against Iranian encroachment. 

poke and prod:突つき回す
butt :衝突する
staking :見張る

The leading Sunni powers of the region, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will find this U.S. president much more willing to help keep Iran at bay than the last. While former U.S. President Barack Obama undertook the task of neutralizing the Iranian nuclear threat so that the United States could avoid being pulled into another Middle Eastern war, Trump will now work to further tilt the regional balance of power toward the Sunni camp. This doesn't mean the Trump administration is prepared to walk away from its nuclear deal with Iran and reopen yet another potential theater for conflict. 


Instead, the White House will take a tougher stance on Iran by reinforcing its Sunni allies in proxy battles in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Sanctions that directly interfere with the Iranian nuclear deal will likely be averted, and sanctions waivers tied to the nuclear deal will likely be extended, but additional sanctions related to human rights abuses and Iran's sponsorship of terrorism can be expected. And with Iran's presidential election set for May 19, a hard-nosed U.S. administration's efforts to keep Iran in check will have the unintended effect of bolstering Iranian hard-liners, injecting more uncertainty into the tenuous working relationship between Washington and Tehran. 





swingby_blog at 21:27コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


An Enduring Standoff in Eurasia
The United States' relationship with Russia will remain rocky in the months ahead. An unrelenting congressional probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election is a political fire the White House will be unable to completely stamp out. As a result, the issue of easing sanctions will likely continue to be too thorny to touch for the time being. 

Standoff :膠着状態
unrelenting :手加減しない

Neither the United States nor Russia will let its military guard down in Europe as the standoff endures. If Moscow and Washington hold a substantive negotiation of any kind over the next 100 days, it will be on the matter of arms control. But they will encounter major obstacles there as well. With U.S. ballistic missile defense expanding and a race for hypersonic weapons underway, Russia has no intention of hamstringing itself under foundational agreements such as the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which is rapidly becoming defunct. And as China sits out of the arms control discussion, both Russia and the United States will have motivation beyond their competition with each other to operate outside the obsolete bounds of their 20th-century pacts. All the while, however, they will be trying to suss out where new deals can be made. 

as well:その上
hamstringing :妨害する

As he copes with rising discontent at home, Russian President Vladimir Putin will stick by his long-standing strategy of cracking the core of the European Union and NATO. The first round of France's presidential election pit the politically hollow and moderate Europeanist Emmanuel Macron against far-right National Front Euroskeptic Marine Le Pen. Though the second round will likely favor Macron, thus buying Europe time to hold itself together, the Continent is still on shaky ground. A polarized French electorate and the potential for gridlock to emerge from National Assembly elections in June — not to mention the deeper issues driving economic stagnation and social tensions — will keep the country's Euroskeptic current alive and hinder structural reforms. 

buying Europe time:時間を稼ぐ
hold itself together:団結する

At the same time, Italy, still highly fragile, will inch toward its own elections, and the north-south chasm in Europe will widen — just as German voters prepare to head to the polls in the fall. The United Kingdom, meanwhile, is gearing up for the long and arduous negotiation ahead as it divorces itself from the European Union. (In the process, it will be creating a template for other members of the bloc to potentially do the same.) The White House has openly endorsed the Euroskeptics' vision for Europe, in line with its own view that national self-interest is not just preferable but also plain sensible. Nonetheless, this is a precarious and all-consuming path for Europe that will leave little room for the United States to impose its preferences on the bloc — and plenty of loose threads for Russia to pull in trying to unravel the Western alliance. 

leave little room for:余地が殆ど無い
mpose its preferences on the bloc:このブロックに対してアメリカの好みを押し付ける
loose threads:ほつれた糸




swingby_blog at 09:05コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



A Familiar Conundrum in North Korea
Trump has broadcast to the world that the trade pressure he has applied on China will achieve things "never seen before" in managing the North Korean crisis. But intertwining trade with foreign policy gets messy very quickly. The president has framed his recent reversal on labeling China a currency manipulator as a negotiating tactic intended to push China to do more in pressuring North Korea. But there was little weight behind the threat of using that label in the first place. 


China has been defending, not devaluing, its currency for the past three years; in fact, it hopes to avoid a steep fall in the value of the yuan, which would exacerbate capital flight and hamper Beijing's efforts to boost domestic consumption and reduce its heavy reliance on exports. China is concerned, of course, about the more selective trade measures the White House is pursuing to target Chinese imports, and it will float promises of granting U.S. investors greater market access in certain sectors to keep those frictions manageable. 

frictions :摩擦

Does this U.S.-China trade dynamic amount to substantive change in how North Korea is handled? Not exactly. While consolidating power at home ahead of this year's Communist Party Congress and fending off trade attacks from Washington, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been using a careful blend of economic incentives and military moves with its neighbors to carve out and seal a sphere of influence in its near abroad, squeezing out the United States. North Korea has interfered with those plans. As Pyongyang inches closer to fielding a long-range weaponized nuclear device, the United States is drawn deeper into the Asia-Pacific, encroaching on what China regards as its regional turf. 

fending :攻撃を交わす

China is far more concerned about having an unstable North Korea on its doorstep than a nuclear one. And though China does have substantial economic leverage over North Korea, there are clear limits to how far Beijing will go in applying sanctions. The Chinese do not want to face a refugee crisis on their border and are not interested in triggering the government's collapse in Pyongyang if it also means accelerating a scenario in which China must contend with a reunified Korea tucked under a U.S. security umbrella. 


Military planners in the region and the United States know that there are simply no good military options for managing North Korea's actions when Seoul is in range of a massive artillery barrage and both Japan and China are in range of North Korea's missile arsenal. Real potential exists for a military crisis on the Korean Peninsula to escalate into a regional conflict. Kim Jong Un's reclusive government, meanwhile, has done an exceptional job of keeping China (and the rest of the world) at arm's length to muddle intelligence estimates and leave adversaries with little choice but to factor the worst-case scenario — regional war — into the cost calculations of their military plans. 


So, even as "strategic impatience" begins to dominate Washington's rhetoric about North Korea, Trump will likely meet the fate of his predecessors. After reaching the limits of exerting economic pressure through China, his administration will reserve the high-risk military option of conducting a pre-emptive attack against North Korea for the event that Washington detects Pyongyang's preparations for a suicidal strike against the United States, Japan or South Korea. Pyongyang, for its part, will proceed apace with the development of its nuclear deterrent. The United States will try to mitigate this threat in other ways by focusing on covert means of disrupting the program, stepping up missile defense in the region, and reinforcing the defenses of Japan and South Korea. 


A heavier U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific will worsen tension between China, on one hand, and the United States and its security partners on the other. And with the reality of a nuclear North Korea setting in, Washington's security commitments in the region will be tested. If Japan and South Korea have reason to seriously question their protection under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, they could well take steps to develop their own nuclear weapons programs, just as Trump himself bluntly advocated during his presidential campaign. 





swingby_blog at 19:23コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



What Trump’s Next 100 Days Will Look Like
By Reva Goujon
VP of Global Analysis, Stratfor
Apr 25, 2017


Trump's Foreign Policy Forecast

As U.S. President Donald Trump approaches his 100-day benchmark on Saturday, a media deluge has already begun bemoaning the demise of the liberal order, celebrating waves of deregulation or simply blaming the president's rocky start on the "disaster" he inherited on taking office. Rather than wade into that predictable morass, we prefer to focus instead on what the next 100 days hold in store. 


A Slippery Slope in Trade
Trump is often described as a "transactional" president who sees the world as one big negotiating table where he can leverage his business experience to exact better terms and conditions for American workers and corporations. Trump will therefore try to keep his core agenda focused on what he regards as his sweet spot: U.S. economy and trade. But even though the domestic economy may be the thing closest to the president's comfort zone, it's also where he comes up against a wall of institutional barriers. As a result, his much-touted tax overhaul attempting a steep reduction in the corporate tax rate will remain gridlocked in congressional battles over health care and the budget. 

comes up against:立ち向かう 
gridlocked :行き詰った

The new U.S. administration will have a bit more room to maneuver on trade issues. Its simplistic fixation on countries with which the United States has a large deficit will become more nuanced with time. The United States cannot simply force other countries to buy more of its goods in volumes that would make an appreciable difference in the trade deficit. And in some cases, America's existing factory capacity is neither ready nor able to meet a sizable increase in demand from abroad. Instead, for select industries, Washington will try to boost U.S. purchases of American goods and the enforcement of trade measures to restrict certain imports from abroad. 


The steel sector is a logical place for the White House to focus its attention. After all, it's an industry that appeals to Trump's support base in the Rust Belt (though price hikes risk alienating big U.S. steel consumers); the United States has the domestic capacity to meet most of its steel demand (save for specific, often military-related applications); and there are several World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions that the United States can use to tighten restrictions on imports (well before Trump's election, Washington had placed more than 150 countervailing and anti-dumping duties on steel imports). 


A number of these measures will inevitably invite challenges in the WTO, but a much bigger and more consequential question will still hang over U.S. trade partners. The Trump administration has outlined a trade policy to Congress that "will aggressively defend American sovereignty over matters of trade policy." Specifically, the White House has said the United States would not subject itself to WTO provisions that are "inconsistent" with U.S. law. This raises the question of just how far a protectionist White House will try to stretch trade loopholes — and what it will risk in the process. Trump has ordered the Department of Commerce to open an investigation into whether importing steel harms the national security interests of the United States by sidelining domestic producers. 


Based on precedent and the current definition of national security in the context of trade, it will be difficult for the United States to argue that it does. But the national security clause is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of the executive. If the Trump administration expands that definition to include issues such as employment and domestic stability, the White House would have a much broader set of tools with which to target other industries under duress from foreign competition. 


Trump is thus at the top of a slippery slope. If the United States aggressively plays the national security card in trade, its trade partners will be compelled to do the same. The tit-for-tat would severely undermine the foundation of the international trade order that the United States has underpinned as part of its global hegemonic responsibilities for the past 70 years. 


Still, this isn't cause for alarmist predictions of the end of free trade as we know it. Decades of interwoven supply chains wrapped around the globe will not be undone by a single president. Moreover, there's no guarantee that the White House will follow this course to its extreme end. The Trump administration is not prepared to absorb the political cost of greatly compromising its trade links abroad, and the White House still needs a credible WTO to enforce many of the trade measures it is already trying to invoke. In fact, the mere threat of upending international trade governance may simply be a useful negotiating tactic as the White House tries to improve its bilateral trade terms with countries such as Mexico and China. 



トランプが公約したAmerica Firstは今までのやり方ではうまくいかないだろう。かれが当選したのはEstablishmentから利益を一般大衆へと言うことである。国家の繁栄は金持ちから大衆へ還元しようということで当選した。そうした根本的な視点でももう一度見直す必要がある。彼の提言した施策は稚拙すぎる。


swingby_blog at 21:24コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 



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