The main character's name 'Nazaret Manoogian', played by Tahar Rahim, contains multiple references: The first name is obviously a reference to the Armenian people's Christian religion (Jesus of Nazareth). The surname can be interpreted as a reference to two prominent Armenian-Americans: a) Alex Manoogian (June 28, 1901 - July 10, 1996) was an Armenian refugee of genocide from the Ottoman Empire and immigrant to the United States, who later became an industrial engineer, businessman and entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan. The billionaire Manoogian was a philanthropist who donated to churches, educational institutions and charities of the Armenian Diaspora, to preserve and continue their culture. In 1993, Alex Manoogian was named a 'National Hero of Armenia' and a citizen of Armenia by President Levan Ter Petrosian, the first person outside the country to be so honored. In 2007 Alex Manoogian and his wife Marie, who died in 1993, were buried with state honors in the Republic of Armenia. b) Haig Manoogian (May 23, 1916 - May 26, 1980) was an Armenian-American professor of film at New York University and a major influence on filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, who was one of his students. Manoogian co-produced Scorsese's first feature film Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967). His masterpiece Raging Bull (1980) is dedicated "with love and resolution" to his former reacher Manoogian. Since director Fatih Akin dedicated this film among others to Scorsese as his "master and godfather" this reference must be regarded as intentional.