Watch Chris Cornell’s Video for ‘The Promise’
"Chris Cornell was not only a dear family friend for many years, but he was also a once-in-a generation talent who is missed more than words can convey. It was such an honor to collaborate and partner on The Promise over the years," Eric Esrailian, the film's producer, said in a press release. "His music and lyrics will not only shine a light on the Armenian Genocide and the human rights crises of modern times, but they will also inspire people and provide hope for years to come."
The Promise stars Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac fighting for the affections of Charlotte le Bon in Constantinople during the Armenian Genocide in 1914. Prior to Cornell's death, he had specified to Esrailian that he wanted the video to come out today (June 20), which is World Refugee Day, as a way of drawing attention to the current refugee crisis. As Cornell said when the song arrived, he recognized a parallel between the movie's themes and today's headlines.
"The Promise to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it's also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words 'never again' seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the 20th century, as well as renewed racism and prejudice around the world.
"Even in the U.S.," he continued, "the warning signs - isolating groups based on race and religion - are evident. We really need to tell these stories and keep telling them in as many different ways as we can. As humans, we have a tremendous capacity to trudge ahead in our lives and not look at the difficult and challenging moments... but I think it's important. Educating ourselves on the past is the best way to understand the present and avoid future atrocities by understanding and intervening. We must educate and stand as one to combat this fear and violence, and as citizens of the world, work to protect each other's human rights."
Cornell's proceeds from the song are being donated to the International Rescue Committee. Back in April, Cornell and his wife Vicky toured refugee camps in Greece and pledged to help child refugees and issues facing them via the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation.
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