Auction of Souls
Cast & Crew
Anna Q. Nilsson
Aurora Mardiganian, a young Armenian girl who lives with her parents in the Turkish town of Harpout, falls in love with Andranik, a young shepherd. Passelt Pasha, the Turkish Governor of the province, demands Aurora's hand in marriage, but her father refuses, explaining that like other Armenians, she is Christian and does not want to change. In March 1915, despite pleas from American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, the Turkish government orders the Armenians into the desert, where rampant atrocities occur. After her parents are killed, Aurora and other Armenian girls are taken by Turks from an English mission run by Edith Graham. Miss Graham disguises herself as an Armenian and with Aurora, escapes, aided by Andranik. They are captured by Kurds, however, after which they are raped, sold to a Mohammedan chieftain and later sold again at a slave market. With the help of Andranik they escape finally to an American Relief Home. Aurora comes to America and pleads for help for her people, who literally have been decimated.
Anna Q. Nilsson
Viscount Bryce's official report and Ex-Ambassador Henry Morgenthau's official story were additional sources for this film. The book was serialized in the Hearst publications. The film and the book are based on true incidents in the life of Aurora Mardiganian. The film's working titles were Ravished Armenia and Armenia Crucified. It May also have been known as An Armenian Crucifixion (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0146). The film opened originally in various cities at $10 a seat, the proceeds going to the Committee for the Relief of the Near East and the Armenian War Relief Association. Sources disagree concerning the scenarist. Records from the Selig Collection credit Frederic Chapin, while publicity pamphlets produced by the Armenian War Relief Association credit both Chapin and Nora Waln, a member of the committee. Shots representing Mt. Ararat were actually filmed at Mt. Baldy, CA.