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
In a world full of denial, how do you determine who's telling the truth?
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6 December 2002 (USA)
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Opening Weekend: $211,130
(15 November 2002)
(24 January 2003)
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Aspect Ratio: 1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?
(2002) premiered as part of the 'Official Selection', but out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2002. Atom Egoyan
's prior film ( Felicia's Journey
(1999) ) and his subsequent film ( Where the Truth Lies
(2005) ), artistically less ambitious films, were both screened in competition at Cannes. The reasons for not being part of the 'Official Competition' in 2002 were debated and arte still ambigious: Some claim political pressure on the festival by Turkey, while Egoyan said he himself decided not to enter Ararat
(2002) for competition at Cannes: "This film is dealing with a period of history that has never been represented before on film. The idea of subjecting that to the additional pressures of a jury - given all the pressures that are on this film already - seemed to be unnecessary." See more
Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey
[to Edward Saroyan
I think the Turks had a real reason to believe that the Armenians were a threat to their security. I mean, their eastern border was threatened by Russia and, I mean, if they believed that the Armenians were gonna betray them; so this was their war. Populations get moved around all the time.
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
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