Two months before the tragic and untimely passing of alt-rock icon, Chris Cornell, the singer released a lyric video for the title track for the film, The Promise and now the official video has been released for World Refugee Day, today (20 June).
The film starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac was released in April and revolves around the Armenian Genocide in 1914. While recording the song, Cornell had expressed to the film’s producer Eric Esrailian that he wanted the video to be released on World Refugee Day, as a way to create more awareness around the current refugee crisis.
While the original lyric video featured scenes from the film, Cornell along with Esrailian and video directors Meiert Avis and Stefan Smith, decided to take it one step further and include actual footage of fleeing refugees from Libya, Syria and other warn-torn countries to deepen the impact of message. Avis had previously worked with Cornell, directing videos for Cornell’s 2008 song ‘Ground Zero’ and Audioslave’s 2002 hit, ‘Like a Stone’. Cornell touched upon why he got involved with the project in a press release saying:
“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.”
“Even in the US”, 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. 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”.
Back in April, Cornell had witnessed the refugee crisis first-hand, when he and his wife Vicky toured refugee camps in Greece. Since then, Cornell had pledged to donate all proceeds from the song and video to humanitarian aid charity International Rescue Committee.
“I hope [the video] provides a wider human context for the tragedy of his death”, Avis told Rolling Stone. “I hope it creates something with purpose because Chris had purpose and to lose your purpose is a terrible thing.”
Explore Chris Cornell’s immense musical legacy at our Chris Cornell Artist Page.