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On the contrary, he explains the why and the how his and his wife's family like any family have suffered from the absurdity of war. A beautiful film.
7 March 2014 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

The Citadel

Atom Egoyan selected the Montreal New Cinema Festival to present what could have just been some home video footage taken from his private library. He calls it a documentary, "a journal, an essay." No matter what it is, Atom Egoyan and his wife, Arsinee Khanjian, were there to introduce their film and host a Q&A with an audience of festival attendees.

After 28 years of living in Canada, Mr. Egoyan and his wife travelled to Lebanon's West Beirut where he and his wife, both Armenian Christians, grew up. Mr. Egoyan declares the resulting video footage/chronicle to be a gift to his son about the war-torn country he emigrated from.

With a tremendous sense of humor and irony, Mr. Egoyan plays tour guide as if he were reporting on the Tour de France. We discover a modest family house where spirituality and Christian symbols are part of everyday life.

When driving from East Beirut populated by mostly Christians to West Beirut populated by Muslims, Mr. Egoyan reflects on the "cult" of suicide bombers whose photographs hang on pillars throughout a city whose residents consider themselves direct descendants of the Phoenicians.

By producing such a documentary, Atom Egoyan could have easily fallen into the pitfall of producing a film that declares "Look how bad these Israelis are!" On the contrary, he explains the why and the how his and his wife's family like any family have suffered from the absurdity of war. A beautiful film.

The Citadel Written, Directed & Produced by Atom Egoyan

With Atom Egoyan (Himself), Arsinee Khanjian (Herself)

Runtime: 93 min


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