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Interrogated by a customs officer, a young man recounts how his life was changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide.

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The first Genocide of the 20th century when over a million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I, between 1915 and 1918.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
David
...
Ani
Setta Keshishian ...
Dinner Guest / Wailing Mother
...
Shant Srabian ...
Dinner Guest #3 / Doctor #1
...
Celia
...
Ali / Jevdet Bay
Brent Carver ...
Philip
...
Tony
Christie MacFadyen ...
Janet
Dawn Roach ...
Customs Officer
...
Lousnak Abdalian ...
Gorky's Mother
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Storyline

People tell stories. In Toronto, an art historian lectures on Arshile Gorky (1904?-1948), an Armenian painter who lived through the genocide in Turkey in 1915. A director invites the historian to help him include Gorky's story in a film about the genocide and Turkish assault on the town of Van. The historian's family is under stress: her son is in love with his step-sister, who blames the historian for the death of her father. The daughter wants to revisit her father's death and change that story. An aging customs agent tells his son about his long interview with the historian's son, who has returned from Turkey with canisters of film. Parents and children. All the stories connect. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world full of denial, how do you determine who's telling the truth? See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ararát  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$211,130 (USA) (15 November 2002)

Gross:

$1,554,566 (USA) (24 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Italian release of this film was intended to be on April 24th 2003. However, its showing was unexpectedly banned by Italian authorities a day before the planned release, with the authorities explaining that the film's distributor had failed to submit in time the application to obtain the required censorship certificate. See more »

Quotes

Raffi: But he thinks Turkey was at war with Armenia. Doesn't it bother you that he doesn't get the history?
Edward Saroyan: No, not really.
Raffi: I mean why didn't you explain to him that we were citizens, we were Turkish citizens. We had a right to be protected.
Edward Saroyan: Are you driving him home?
Raffi: Yeah.
Edward Saroyan: Huh. Take this.
[hands him dollar bills]
Edward Saroyan: Buy him a bottle of champagne. Let him think that he has done something special.
Raffi: Something special? I'm sorry, Mr Saroyan, I don't think I understand.
Edward Saroyan: Young man, do you know what still causes ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing disclaimers: 1) The historical events in this film have been substantiated by holocaust scholars, national archives, and eyewitness accounts, including that of Clarence Ussher. 2) To this day, Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide of 1915. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Ararat' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mystery
Written by Gord Downie (as Gordon Downie) and Atom Egoyan
Performed by Gord Downie (as Gordon Downie)
From the album "Coke Machine Glow"
Courtesy of Wiener Art Records - copyright 2000
Copyright 2000 - Wiener Art (SOCAN)/Egoyan Ego Film Arts (SOCAN)
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User Reviews

 
a giant multi-colored tapestry
24 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A film within a film within a film that plays out through a myriad of interconnected stories sewn into a giant multi-colored tapestry. The so called "Armenian holocaust" is the fabric from which director Egoyan spins his narrative, and this event so heavily laden with emotional baggage, becomes almost impossible to approach with intellectual objectivity. The lines between fact and fiction are constantly blurred as in a scene where the protagonist walks onto a movie set about the "holocaust" and one of the characters scolds her, not as an actor, but as a very real character from that time. At times this constant commingling loses focus, but Egoyan's heartfelt attempt to bring back the dead through his art imitating art approach, succeeds surprisingly well. Although the "holocaust" is shown graphically, Egoyan is aware that we connect most deeply with that to which we can all relate, and this is shown right from the start as an artist attempts to transfer his childhood memories of murdered loved ones to a painter's canvas; the details of a mothers dress . . . the skin of a mothers hand . . . her fingers knitting a quilt. The vivid colors and simple reality of that hand are so compelling they can reach out across decades of despair to caress the forehead, reduce fever, and impart a sense of belonging - a reason for being. From this inauspicious beginning, Egoyan is able to arrive at a much greater truth: the inherent need for human beings to believe in something - whether or not that belief is grounded in reality or can be proved scientifically. Finally, ARATAT concludes with a simple truth that is just as powerful: the immeasurable but often neglected joy at being able to look upon our loved ones and to hold them in an embrace of life.


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