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Armenia – The history on film

Atom Egoyan – 2012 Dr. Berj. H. Haidostian Annual Distinguished Lecture

Interwiev: Atom Egoyan & Serj Tankian

The Legend of Akhtamar

On a stormy night, a mysterious taxi driver (Armen Dzhigarkhanyan) is hailed by a handsome, young Muscovite (Grigory Dobrygin) who has travelled to Armenia to meet his girlfriend (Ravshana Kurkova). The driver senses his fare’s troubled state of mind and recounts the Legend of Akhtamar, offering the ancient wisdom of its heartfelt message.

The Lark Farm

La masseria delle allodole (“The Lark Farm”) is a 2007 Italian film directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani about the Armenian Genocide.

The story, drawn from La masseria delle allodole, the best-selling novel by Antonia Arslan, tells about the Avakian clan, an Armenian family living in Turkey and having two houses.

The Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day. The Avakians do not pay attention to the warning signs, and set about preparing for a family reunion with the impending visit of two well-to-do sons – landowner Aram, who resides in Turkey, and Assadour, a physician living in Venice.

These illusions come crashing down when a Turkish military regiment crops up at the house, annihilates every male member of the family and forces the ladies to trek off into the Syrian desert, where they will be left to rot. With them goes one of the little boys of the family, who was dressed into a girl in order not to be killed.

Meanwhile, a handsome Turkish officer (Alessandro Preziosi) falls in love with Aram’s sister and makes an aggressive attempt to deliver her from certain death, even as the circumstances surrounding him attest to the astounding difficulty of doing so.

Mayrig (Mother)

Mayrig (Mother) is a 1991 semi-autobiographical film written and directed by French-Armenian filmmaker Henri Verneuil. The film’s principal cast includes Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif. It is about the struggles of an Armenian family that emigrates to France from Turkey after the Armenian genocide of 1915.

Following the film’s success, Verneuil edited the movie into a television series. He followed that up with 588 rue paradis, a sequel to the original movie.

588 rue paradis is a 1992 semi-autobiographical film written and directed by French-Armenian filmmaker Henri Verneuil. The film’s principal cast includes Richard Berry, Claudia Cardinale and Omar Sharif. It was preceded by Mayrig, the first autobiographical movie of Henri Verneuil.

The film has a 95% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.


Aram is a 2002 French action film. It takes place in France between 1993 and 2001, wherein French-Armenian fighters supply arms to Nagorno-Karabakh and attempt to kill a visiting Turkish diplomat. The film was released in 2002 in theatres in France, and made its American debut in 2004 at the Armenian Film Festival in San Francisco

Historically, the film is loosely based on the militant activity of small groups of Armenian youth in mostly Western Europe beginning in 1973 and lasting until 1994 during which Armenian assassins killed representatives of the state of Turkey in order to gain public awareness of the forgotten (at the time) Armenian Genocide.

The two prevailing groups at the time were ASALA and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide; the film references a (fictional) group called the Armenian Genocide Justiciaries Secret Army. The film also reflects the support these same groups had for the Armenian war of liberation in Karabakh from 1988 to 1993.

Sons of Sason

The Armenian Genocide & Exploring The Issues (debate)

The Armenian Genocide is a 2006 television documentary e xploring the Ottoman Empire killings of more than one million Armenians during World War I. The documentary was broadcast by most 348 PBS affiliate stations on April 17, 2006.

Because of the controversial nature of the subject in Turkey, PBS attempted to give both sides a voice and produced a four expert panel discussion to be aired immediately afterwards.

However, due to an intense lobbying effort by Armenian groups and some members of Congress, the follow-up panel discussion was cancelled on a third of those stations broadcasting the documentary over concerns of offending human rights groups and the descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors.

The Armenian Journey – A Story Of an Armenian Genocide

From Despair to Hope in Rhode Island,” a film by The Genocide Education Project (GenEd), tells the story of Armenian Genocide survivor Margaret Garabedian Der Manuelian, told through the narrative voice of her great-granddaughter, 21 year old Dalita Getzoyan.

The film was funded by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and designed to support educators in the region and beyond.

For teaching resources on the Armenian Genocide:

1915 AGHET

Documentation about the Armenian genocide in 1915 which Turkey denies down to the present day.

The documentation is based on reports of, amongst others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, the American National Archives, the Library of Congress and archives in France, Denmark, Sweden, Armenia, Russia and Turkey.

These documents, hidden for a long time in order not to harm Turkey, leave absolutely no room for doubt about the reality of the Armenian genocide.

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