The Ottoman Lieutenant

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The Ottoman Lieutenant
The Ottoman Lieutenant.jpg
Directed byJoseph Ruben
Produced byStephen Joel Brown
Written byJeff Stockwell
StarringMichiel Huisman
Hera Hilmar
Josh Hartnett
Ben Kingsley
Music byGeoff Zanelli
CinematographyDaniel Aranyó
Edited byNick Moore and Dennis Virkler
Y Production
Eastern Sunrise Films
Distributed byPaladin
Release date
  • March 10, 2017 (2017-03-10)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States, Turkey
Box office$240,978[1]

The Ottoman Lieutenant is a Turkish-American World War I drama film directed by Joseph Ruben and written by Jeff Stockwell. The film stars Michiel Huisman, Hera Hilmar, Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley. The film was released widely on March 10, 2017.[2]


The Ottoman Lieutenant is a love story between an idealistic American nurse (Hera Hilmar) and a Turkish officer (Michiel Huisman) during World War I.



The motion picture commenced principal photography in Prague, Czech Republic in April 2015, and also filmed in Cappadocia and Istanbul, Turkey and completed filming in July 2015. The film's music score was composed by Geoff Zanelli.[3]


Critical response[edit]

The Ottoman Lieutenant was largely panned by film critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 19%, with an average rating of 3.6/10.[4]

Several critics criticized the film for perpetuating the denial of the Armenian Genocide. In his review for Variety Dennis Harvey writes, "[In] this primarily Turkish-funded production, the historical, political, ethnic and other intricacies — not to mention that perpetual elephant in the room, the Armenian Genocide, which commenced in 1915 — are glossed over in favor of a generalized 'Whattaya gonna do… war is bad' aura that implies conscience without actually saying anything." [5]

In his review of the film for Slant Magazine, Keith Watson writes, "More conspicuous than The Ottoman Lieutenant's rote melodrama is the way the film elides the concurrent genocide of ethnic Armenians by Ottoman forces, a historical reality which the Turkish government continues to deny to this day.",[6] while critic Roger Moore called The Ottoman Lieutenant "a botched love-triangle romance set against a revisionist account of the Turkish Armenian Genocide." [7]

On March 7, 2017, the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States issued a statement, urging the public not to watch the film in theaters or support it in any way. “[We] do feel it is important for our community to be aware of the fact that genocide denial is present and still a major issue, even outside of the Republic of Turkey,” read a part of the statement.[8]


  1. ^ "The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Busch, Anita (2016-09-09). "'The Ottoman Lieutenant' To Be Released For Oscar-Qualifying Run". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  3. ^ "Geoff Zanelli to Score Joseph Ruben's 'Mountains and Stones'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  4. ^ "The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. March 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Harvey, Dennis (March 2, 2017). "Film Review: 'The Ottoman Lieutenant'". Variety.
  6. ^ Watson, Keith (March 7, 2017). "The Ottoman Lieutenant". Slant.
  7. ^ Moore, Roger (March 8, 2017). "Movie Review: Turkish history gets a quick anti-genocidal scrub in "The Ottoman Lieutenant"". Rogers Movie Nation.
  8. ^ Western U.S., Armenian Youth Federation (March 9, 2017). "AYF Western United States Issues Statement on the Film 'The Ottoman Lieutenant'". The Armenian Weekly.

External links[edit]