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Ararat (2002)

R | | Drama, War | 6 December 2002 (USA)
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1:32 | Trailer

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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.

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

Opening Weekend USA:

$211,130, 17 November 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,554,566, 26 January 2003
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

Ararat (2002) premiered as part of the 'Official Selection' at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival in 2002, but it was not 'In Competition' for any awards. Atom Egoyan's prior feature [Felicia's Journey (1999)] and his subsequent feature [Where the Truth Lies (2005)], artistically less ambitious films, were both screened 'In Competition' at Cannes. The reasons for "Ararat" not being part of the 'Official Competition' in 2002 are still ambiguous: Some claim there was political pressure on the festival by Turkey, while Egoyan said he himself decided not to enter Ararat (2002) into the competition: "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 »

Quotes

Raffi: But he thinks Turkey was at war with Armenia. Doesn't it bother you that he doesn't get the history?
Edward Saroyan: No, not really.
Raffi: I mean why didn't you explain to him that we were citizens, we were Turkish citizens. We had a right to be protected.
Edward Saroyan: Are you driving him home?
Raffi: Yeah.
Edward Saroyan: Huh. Take this.
[hands him dollar bills]
Edward Saroyan: Buy him a bottle of champagne. Let him think that he has done something special.
Raffi: Something special? I'm sorry, Mr Saroyan, I don't think I understand.
Edward Saroyan: Young man, do you know what still causes ...
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

Mystery
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 »

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User Reviews

Underrated
2 December 2003 | by bbowensSee all my reviews

I really liked this movie. I've read review's by Berardinelli, Ebert, NYTimes, and Wash Post, and they are unduly critical, possibly based on the director's capabilities. However, I feel that the characters and the story interweaved masterfully, and that the relationship of Christopher Plummer and his gay son are an interesting parallel with the intolerance of the Turk's (majority Muslim's) and the Armenian's (minority Christian's); Also, the way that Raffi carried his hatred second-hand and that hatred got even more trumped up with the Elias Koteas current-day character was effective in showing how these clashes can sustain over generations upon generations.

Another superb aspect of the film was how the cinematic production within the movie acted as the segway between the current and past events because the actors are also characters in the "main" movie; that's a structural piece of "real" cinematic mastery.


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