“The Memoirs of Antoine Köpe” (working title) is a feature length documentary film coinciding with the WWI Centenary. It is based on a soldier’s eyewitness account of life in the Austro-Hungarian Army while stationed in Istanbul and Palestine during WWI.
The soldier, Antoine Köpe, left behind a memoir and a remarkable collection of letters, photographs, drawings, sound recordings and home movies that have never before been published. Given that his brother Taib was the Palace photographer, the memoirs contain hundreds of never before seen photographs.
The documentary film “The Memoirs of Antoine Köpe” will draw from a carefully blended balance of contemporary footage of historical sites in Turkey and the Middle East, archival photographs and moving images, home videos, newsreels, and images of important artifacts. Animation and graphic effects will be deployed thoughtfully to enhance narrative impact and to help maintain a sense of intimacy in relation to Köpe’s life experience.
The Western Front is too often the focus of World War I-related discussion and depiction. It is nevertheless essential that WWI and the last years of the Ottoman Empire be told from a different perspective, as they still impact contemporary politics. Antoine's war narrative is humanistic, personal, and far from any heroic discourse or official statement. Through his vivid and sometimes humoristic descriptions of many key historical events, Antoine gives us a nuanced portrait of life in the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East during the War. Telling the complex history of the War in the Middle East, and its enormous impact on the lives of ordinary civilians will simplify and enrich an otherwise unexplored subject while simultaneously engaging and enthralling the audience.