Ararat (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  6 December 2002 (USA)
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Setta Keshishian ...
Dinner Guest / Wailing Mother
Shant Srabian ...
Dinner Guest #3 / Doctor #1
Ali / Jevdet Bay
Brent Carver ...
Christie MacFadyen ...
Dawn Roach ...
Customs Officer
Lousnak Abdalian ...
Gorky's Mother


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ararát  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$1,554,566 (USA) (24 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director and screenwriter Atom Egoyan (born Atom Yeghoyan) is a Canadian citizen of Armenian descent. Other prominent Armenians in film history include Sergei Parajanov, Henri Verneuil (born Ashot Malakian), Charles Aznavour (born Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian), Cher, Haig Manoogian, Rouben Mamoulian, Robert Guédiguian, Eric Bogosian, Richard C. Sarafian, Francis Veber, Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes, Anna Melikyan and Aram Avakian. See more »


Ani: Did you give her my book?
Raffi: This is too weird for me.
Ani: What is weird Raffi?
Ani: Smoking pot, or sleeping with you step-sister?
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 »


Referenced in Escape from the Newsroom (2002) See more »


(Politically Lying, Unholy, Cowardly Killers)
Performed by System of a Down
Written by Daron Malakian (as Malakian) / Serj Tankian (as Tankian) / Shavo Odadjian (as Odajian) / John Dolmayan (as Dolmayan)
DDevil Music (ASCAP)/ System of Down (ASCAP)/ Sony/ ATV Tunes LLC,
All rights on behalf of DDevil Music, System of A Down & Sony/ ATV Tunes LLC
Administered by SONY/ ATV Music Publishing, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37202
All rights reserved. Used by Permission
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic - and with more layers than you might imagine.
18 November 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

If you are expecting a historic epic about the Armenian genocide this isn't it.

Instead it is a finely crafted, tightly directed look at the historical events of 1915 and how it has affected those that followed. Focusing on four generations, from an Armenian artist who survived the genocide in Van through to Raffi, a Canadian Armenian in his early twenties (played brilliantly by David Alpay in his professional debut) you need to know nothing about the history to get something from this film about the nature of humanity.

The direction is Egoyan's usual unusual style - juxtaposing images one on top of the other to stunning effect, although his narrative style of jumping from thread to thread (and generation to generation) does take some getting used to.

This film will be controversial because of the subject matter, but it isn't two hours of Turk bashing, despite what some of its more biased detractors would say. It does take several of the oft quoted explanations for the genocide and answer them head on, but there are no easy answers.

If you want a film that will leave you stunned both thematically and stylistically then this really is it. I'm now arranging to see it for a second time!

43 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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