Michael lives in a small Armenian Village in historic Armenia, on the eastern part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, and he promises himself to a rich village woman to get 400 gold coins as dowry. This allows him to travel to the city known then and now to Armenians by its historical name, Constantinople, to become a medical student where he befriends a son of a powerful general.
Christopher (Christian Bale) is a reporter for the Associated Press and he brings along Ana, an Armenian woman raised in Paris. Michael falls in love with Ana. The Ottoman Empire starts to round up Armenians, initiating the Armenian Genocide.
Michael is able to Escape by avoiding enlistment in the army under a medical student exemption with the help of his friend. However, he is later sent to prison camps after trying to save his wealthy uncle who has been imprisoned. Michael escapes the camps, and makes it back to his village. He goes to the mountain cabin with his wife, where she soon becomes pregnant.
However, due to the difficult pregnancy his wife is brought back to the village. Michael hears that Ana and Christopher (Associated Press Reporter) are in a nearby Red Cross facility and he goes there to help his family escape. While heading back to his village to help them escape, the Ottomans massacre his family and the whole village. His mother survives.
Michael and Ana and a large group of refugees fight off the Ottoman army on a mountain and escape on the back side to the coast as the French Navy comes to their rescue.
Filming began in Autumn 2015 in Portugal and the Canary Islands, with the shooting scheduled to last until December. Re-shoots took place in New York in May and June 2016, ending in early June.
The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2016.
It has yet to be released nationwide. The Turkish government is active in trying to stop the film.