The silent film “Ravished Armenia” (also known as “Auction of Souls”) was shot by director Oscar Apfel at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The film is based on the memoirs of Aurora (Arshaluys) Mardiganian who miraculously survived the Armenian Genocide. She has been at the very center of events – she has been subjected to violence in the Deir ez-Zor desert and sold into slavery. Nonetheless, she managed to escape and find shelter in the United States.
Her memoirs were published under the name “Ravished Armenia and the story of Aurora Mardiganian” in the US in 1918. A year later, she had to remember the horror of the massacres by playing herself in the screen version of the memoirs. Apart from Aurora, more than 10,000 Armenians from southern California who had fled from the Ottoman Empire also played in the film.
To avoid discrepancies with what had actually happened, 1st Viscount and former British Ambassador to the United States James Bryce and the former US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau Sr. thoroughly examined the film. Both highly praised the screen adaptation.
RAVISHED ARMENIA , the original 1919 movie also known as [ Auction of Souls ]