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?


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 »


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.
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 »


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

Ararat is a work of Propaganda
21 November 2004 | by (canada) – See all my reviews

This movie is definitely a work of propaganda not of art. Its amazing how much time, energy and resources people manage to put into portraying their own skewed versions of history as a fact. The question of "Armenian genocide" is debated by serious academic historians and should not be presented as a historical fact. This movie proves to be a complete work of fiction and propaganda.

Unfortunately, viewers with no proper historical education or understanding of the context, region, and period in history are prone to misunderstanding the matter. Moreover, such deliberate misrepresentations aggravate tensions between Turkish and Armenian populations, which is unnecessary and damaging. I encourage more constructive initiatives that present an unbiased version such politically sensitive and academically debated subjects.

34 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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