Ararat Beckons (1995, 49 mins, Dir. J. Michael Hagopian, Narrator Mike Connors; in Armenian & English) Documentary of the 1st Armenian Expedition to Mt. Ararat.
A film of striking beauty and mystery on the first Armenian Expedition to reach the summit of Mount Ararat. Where many have failed and some even lost their lives, Masis and Gregory Parseghian and Hamlet Nersesian succeeded. Overcoming the hardships of incarceration, altitudes, they accompanied their goal through sheer will and perseverance. The film became a reality after four shipments of film were smuggled out of Turkey over a 2-year period. Ararat Beckons is more than a film of adventure.
It is a poetic statement of the historic bond between a mountain and a people, a father and son.
(Dir. Somnur Vardar, 2013, 86 mins, in Armenian/English/Turkish)
Beginnings follows a group of youths from Armenia and Turkey who meet in two cities on either side of the divide to reconcile the past, present and future of their perpetual conflict stemming from the Armenian genocide. First in Mush, then in Gyumri, their explorations of conflicting memories open up an intense dialogue about the nature of preserving history as a means of evaluating modernity and educating people to learn from historical error. While close relationships develop, these youth must question notions of friendship and trust within a quest to face issues of memory, history, genocide, denial and the demand for the truth.
ACOM Cinema Saturday in August featured parts 3 and 4 of the Russian produced TV comedy - My Big Armenian Wedding.
Tigran, a popular plastic surgeon in Moscow with roots in Armenia, and Lena, a well-educated and beautiful Russian woman, are in love. Families on both sides are mostly against the prospect of a "mixed marriage" and therefore devise various schemes to derail the impending engagement. Absurd and delightful situations develop. Comments on the series were, in general, positive. Although it was a bit over-the-top in some aspects, the filming taking place in Armenia was particularily interesting. Many familiar sights were presented. The major characters portrayed for the Armenian family were said to be quite accurate especially the Grandmother. The series got off to a slow start but as the plot developed it became more interesting and funny. Since the production was Russian, the dialog was mostly in Russian with some Armenian thrown in. The series was subtitled in English for those of us who are not conversant with either Armenian or Russian.
Thanks to Natasha Vaubel for her knowledge and diligence in rounding up these Armenian films.
ACOM Cinema Saturday was held in the home of Terry and Nairy. Starting at 6:30 PM with a Social "Half-Hour" the 13 attendees viewed the Movie "You don't know Jack". The movie was about Dr. Jack Kevorkian and starred Al Pacino as Jack, Brenda Vacarro as Jack's sister Margo, and Susan Sarrandon as Janet the Hemlock society's president. Thirteen of us viewed the movie and then Aram led the group in a spirited discussion of the movie. Snacks and beverages were provide pot-luck style. Everyone had a pleasant and stimulating evening.