6.3/10
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Ararat (2002)

R | | Drama, War | 6 December 2002 (USA)
Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
Interrogated by a customs officer, a young man recounts how his life was changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide.

Director:

Atom Egoyan

Writer:

Atom Egoyan
12 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Abkarian ... Arshile Gorky
Charles Aznavour ... Edward Saroyan
Christopher Plummer ... David
Arsinée Khanjian ... Ani
Setta Keshishian Setta Keshishian ... Dinner Guest / Wailing Mother
David Alpay ... Raffi
Shant Srabian Shant Srabian ... Dinner Guest #3 / Doctor #1
Marie-Josée Croze ... Celia
Elias Koteas ... Ali / Jevdet Bay
Brent Carver Brent Carver ... Philip
Max Morrow ... Tony
Christie MacFadyen Christie MacFadyen ... Janet
Dawn Roach Dawn Roach ... Customs Officer
Garen Boyajian ... Young Gorky
Lousnak Abdalian Lousnak Abdalian ... Gorky's Mother
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Storyline

People tell stories. In Toronto, an art historian lectures on Arshile Gorky (1904 -1948), an Armenian painter who lived through the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. 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. All the stories connect. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Quest For Truth... Among Lies, Deception And Denial. 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:

egofilmarts.com [Canada] | Miramax | See more »

Country:

Canada | France

Language:

English | Armenian | French | German | Turkish

Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Araratas See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$211,130, 17 November 2002

Gross USA:

$1,555,959

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,743,336
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Plummer would later reunite with director Atom Egoyan on the film Remember (2015), which also deals with human memory and genocide. See more »

Quotes

Ani: Did you give her my book?
Raffi: This is too weird for me.
Ani: What is weird Raffi?
[pause]
Ani: Smoking pot, or sleeping with you step-sister?
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

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

P.L.U.C.K.
(Politically Lying, Unholy, Cowardly Killers)
Performed by System of a Down
Written by Daron Malakian (as Malakian) / Serj Tankian (as Tankian) / Shavo Odadjian (as Odajian) / John Dolmayan (as Dolmayan)
DDevil Music (ASCAP)/ System of Down (ASCAP)/ Sony/ ATV Tunes LLC,
All rights on behalf of DDevil Music, System of A Down & Sony/ ATV Tunes LLC
Administered by SONY/ ATV Music Publishing, 8 Music Square West, Nashville, TN 37202
All rights reserved. Used by Permission
See more »

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User Reviews

Memory, History, Representation & other Fallacies of Genius
21 July 2003 | by Ein-SofSee all my reviews

Egoyan's most accomplished piece is, I think necessarily, also his most acutely misinterpreted. The trouble for most viewers is that they cannot understand why he didn't take a more direct / balanced / serious approach to the history involved. What most people fail to understand is that, as in most of Egoyan's films, History is not something one can directly interact with. And, while Egoyan and his film have a strong sense of cultural and historical responsibility; the actual history takes a back seat to its representation and the ramifications of its perverted resurrection.

The point of distancing oneself from the material by producing filmic layers that at times seem even to mock the historical horror of the depicted events, is to illuminate indirectly the essential nature of history: namely that History and Memory are enframed [term and definition stolen from Martin Heidegger] by, not only an arbitrary series of collective definitions, but also within a framework of communal Being. History and Memory are revealed in this film as malleable constructs that differ only in socially acceptable notations of subjectivity.

One is collectively subjective [though not universal] and the other is defined by being individually subjective. History and Memory are representations of distorted fictions; distorted by their very nature as representations - much like cinema. Film / Memory / History these are interchangeably used to comment on each other in all of Egoyan's Films but Ararat achieves a level of genius only developmentally present in his other admittedly brilliant works.

I had the good fortune to hear Egoyan Speak at a screening of his film Family Viewing. He answered several questions about Ararat and I will only say that anyone posting here that believes Egoyan missed something and that they have some fantastic absolutist factory sealed definition of his failures in Art or Cultural Responsibility have sorely underestimated the man.

Take another look...and then another...this film is brilliant.


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