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Ararat (2002)

 -  Drama | War  -  4 September 2002 (France)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,036 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 179 user | 75 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Ararat (2002)

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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
Edit

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:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

4 September 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ararat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Atom Egoyan's prior film ( Felicia's Journey (1999) ) and his subsequent film ( Where the Truth Lies (2005) ) were both nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes. See more »

Quotes

Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey: [as Jevdet Bey] We've invested you Greeks and Armenians with power and freedom.
[pounds desk]
Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey: You should be *thankful*!
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)
See more »

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User Reviews

Well-made movie about a negelcted subject matter
12 December 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Seeing "Ararat" in a more or less mainstream American movie theater in New York City was a very encouraging experience. First of all I'd like to mention that I am not of Armenian background, however I read a lot about the Armenian genocide from both Turkish and other perspectives.

To show a movie concerning this so negelcted topic gave me new confidence in humanity and justice. I like the fact that Egoyan does neither blame the Turkish civil population in the past(something that very often happened concerning the Germans, and the so-called "universal guilt" which simplifies the problems and stems from a clearly racist worldview) nor the Turkish people of today. This movie is not about putting blame on people that happen to be of Turkish ethnicity. However, Egoyan does justifyably blame the Turkish leaders of the past; portrayed by a role in a Genocide movie that is shot within this film. In order to be honest, there is no need to alleviate what happened, so Egoyan shows the brutality that the Armenian population had to face. But the movie revolves around the most frustrating matter concerning the Armenian genocide: Denial. The denial is what is so constructive to both the Turkish conscience and the life of so many Armenians even now. If only the Turkish government would admit to the fact that the genocide took place (there are more than enough files that prove the genocide), a new beginning would be possible. In "Ararat" the viewer is allowed to empathize with the unbelievable pressure under which current day Armenians live due to their history which remains denied. Hitler and Stalin's Holocausts during the Second World War took place at a larger scale than the Armenian genocide, however the Germans admitted to their past and even paid and still do pay reparations. On the other hand, the genocides on the Native Americans, the Jews in Russia, etc. are largely ignored, so is the Armenian and the Assyrian genocide. But denial is cannot be justified, people have to be aware of what has happened in their country. Otherwise what we believe in is simple anarchy. The movie shows that some Armenians use the genocide as a catalysator for other problems "to have a case" like the character Celia. A development due to the genocide denial that is very destructive and that can even lead to paranoia. Others just feel the urgent responsibility to educate the world like Ani. A responsibility which is haunting and consuming because it seems to be so hopeless. Eventually, it is up to the Turkish governement and the enlightened in Turkey to be fair and to push for a recognition of the Armenian genocide and to treat its little remaining Armenian minority in a fair way. The Turkish press however keeps on building its argument around old racist stereotypes against Armenians, even today. In a current survey 85% of Turkish school children said that "Armenians are bad", a situation that has to be changed if we believe in human rights and dignity. Even if Egoyan's movie has some little flaws (like the supposedly all so nice clothing of Armenians while being persecuted. What an oxymoron...), the idea goes into the right direction. Not to juge the Turkish people, but to inform them and the world. And this information is denied to the Turkish individuals by their own government. It is still illegal in Turkey to call the Armenian demise a genocide...


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