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Ararat (2002)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  6 December 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,463 users   Metascore: 62/100
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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


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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:

| |  »




| | | |

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 »


Clarence Ussher: [Ani has interrupted his performance] What is this? God-damnit! We're surrounded by Turks. We've run out of supplies, most of us will die. The crowd needs a miracle, this child is bleeding to death. If I can save his life, it may give us the spirit to continue. This is his brother... his pregnant sister was raped in front of his eyes, before her stomach was slashed open, to stab her unborn child. His father's eyes were gouged out of his head and stuffed into his mouth. And his mother's breasts ...
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 »


Featured in The Making of 'Ararat' (2003) 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

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...

41 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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