6.6/10
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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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12 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arshile Gorky
...
...
...
Ani
Setta Keshishian ...
Dinner Guest / Wailing Mother
...
Shant Srabian ...
Dinner Guest #3 / Doctor #1
...
Celia
...
Brent Carver ...
Philip
...
Tony
Christie MacFadyen ...
Janet
Dawn Roach ...
Customs Officer
...
Young Gorky
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:

In a world full of denial, how do you determine who's telling the truth? 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:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Araratas  »

Filming Locations:

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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

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.
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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

References Swordfish (2001) 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)
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User Reviews

 
A hopeless hodgepodge
20 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

I don't have a dog in the historic fight here, but expected to learn something I didn't know from the film. As a history buff, I had high hopes of insight into the historic context of the time, the actions taken by the two sides, how they viewed the situation, and/or why they did what they did.

Instead, the opportunity was squandered on a long, drawn out, absolutely boring melodrama involving some obscure family conflict, a gratuitous if titillating sex scene, some bizarre injection of homosexuality and atheism creating stress in an aging character with nothing at all to do with the history, and a lot of drippy and pointless personal drama. The only history to be seen consisted of one dimensional Turks and Armenians shooting each other, especially the former shooting and raping civilians of the latter.

The actual historical actors were like cartoon characters. One might, for example, have liked to know that the American doctor was doing in the middle of Turkey. Or why the Turk commander felt he needed to do what he did. Instead, the historic conflict is treated with all the depth of a Road Runner cartoon, while the main focus is on some kid and his girlfriend going through an emotional life crisis. Either, done well, might have been interesting. Both mashed together and done poorly are like a cherry pie with asparagus filling.

Boring, unenlightening, and patched together, it was as if someone had taken some cheap footage of war from a century ago and randomly spliced in parts of various soap operas. What a waste of an opportunity.

This movie just sucked. I don't usually express my opinion that way, but frankly it just sucked. I can understand why either side with a political axe to grind might feel compelled to love or hate the film, but having none I found it almost unwatchably boring.


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