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The End of the Ottoman Empire    cover photo

The End of the Ottoman Empire 2017

Highly Recommended with Reservations

Distributed by Todos los Pueblos Productions
Produced by Seconde Vague Productions, Arte France
Directed by Mathilde Damoisel
DVD, color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
European History, Foreign Relations, World History, Turkey, Ottoman Empire

Date Entered: 10/10/2017

Reviewed by Lara Herzellah, Research and Information Literacy Librarian, Daniel A. Reed Library, State University of New York at Fredonia

The End of the Ottoman Empire not only provides an overview of the fall of the Ottoman Empire but it also highlights the impact of the empire on its surrounding countries, both during its existence and then continuing on to the present. The film is split into two-parts. The first, entitled “The Nations Against the Empire,” starts with Greece winning independence in 1830 and ends with the Balkan Wars (1912-1913). The second, entitled “A Fragmented Middle East,” explores the breaking off of the Empire’s Middle Eastern territories and discusses the impact of this on the Middle East itself.

The film uses different types of visuals, such as still images, paintings, archival footage, and modern day footage, to portray its narrative. This keeps the film interesting and the viewer engaged. However, the movie is in French with English subtitles, which normally would not be an issue, but the subtitles are white and oftentimes are extremely hard to read against the backdrop. I missed a majority of the context of the movie based solely on this fact. This movie is recommended with reservations due to the difficulty of reading the subtitles and also because without prior knowledge, and or discussion, of the Ottoman Empire, the film can be extremely hard to follow since there is no clear introduction to the content.