Ararat (2002) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
177 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
politically charged
zzz0529 July 2004
The high frequency of attacks on this film as being 'proArmenian propaganda' is a testament to the power of the movie. The historical accuracy or moral culpability of the Turks vs. the Armenians in this conflict is not within my knowledge base to judge absolutely, nor that of most of the posters on IMDB, I suspect, so I will just judge this as a movie.

Egoyan has managed the trick of avoiding a simple tearjerker black hat white hat polemic like Mel Gibson's The Patriot (or Braveheart or Passion of the Christ or We Were Soldiers or Chicken Run or....) or even 'Schindler's List' by the technique of distancing the audience to one remove, by making his film actually about an Armenian-Canadian filmmaker making a film about the Armenian Holocaust. Obviously, 'Ararat' still manages to stir up powerful emotions, but by also examining the responses of the film cast and crew and their loved ones and others with whom they come into contact the film attains a more mature and introspective value.
47 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A hopeless hodgepodge
rlange-320 May 2007
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.
60 out of 104 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A film within a film, IMO, Egoyan's best work.
misha-194728 May 2012
I have seen other film by Atom Egoyan. I respect him as an artist.

This film, Ararat, is lovingly made and very sensitive to a horrid subject. I found the acting very good, especially that by Christopher Plummer and David Alpay. I am shocked to see how limited the release was in the U.S. 6 screens, in the whole country? This film deserves far better treatment.

I am also dismayed by the official IMDb blurb "Interrogated by a customs officer, a young man recounts how his life was changed during the making of a film about the Armenian genocide claims." Very good until the last word, "claims." Political correctness has no such place here. The only country in the world which continues to deny the Armenian Holocaust is Turkey.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fantastic - and with more layers than you might imagine.
nkbahar18 November 2002
If you are expecting a historic epic about the Armenian genocide this isn't it.

Instead it is a finely crafted, tightly directed look at the historical events of 1915 and how it has affected those that followed. Focusing on four generations, from an Armenian artist who survived the genocide in Van through to Raffi, a Canadian Armenian in his early twenties (played brilliantly by David Alpay in his professional debut) you need to know nothing about the history to get something from this film about the nature of humanity.

The direction is Egoyan's usual unusual style - juxtaposing images one on top of the other to stunning effect, although his narrative style of jumping from thread to thread (and generation to generation) does take some getting used to.

This film will be controversial because of the subject matter, but it isn't two hours of Turk bashing, despite what some of its more biased detractors would say. It does take several of the oft quoted explanations for the genocide and answer them head on, but there are no easy answers.

If you want a film that will leave you stunned both thematically and stylistically then this really is it. I'm now arranging to see it for a second time!
48 out of 85 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Egoyan's worst.
MiloMindbender4 April 2004
I ran out to see this in the theater since Egoyan was one of my favorite director's (that was until I saw this movie), with The Adjuster & Exotica my favorites. His talent has been on the decline since Exotica, perhaps because he can't make a film without his wife in it (Felicia's Journey being the exception). In this film she is awful, but so are most of the actors. This film was the biggest disappointment in 2002 for me. This is a message film & the message is: Turks committed genocide agaist Armenians & genocide is bad. Otherwise, the film did nothing to impart knowledge of the historical events that are supposed to be the basis for the film. The acting is universally wooden. The storyline was poorly written. A completely lifeless film. I'm surprised by all the 10's it has received. 3/10
78 out of 150 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Egoyan's Holocaust
tieman648 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" – Adolf Hitler

During and after World War 1, the Ottoman Empire deliberately and systematically killed one and a half million Armenians. Though this event is still denied by Turkey, many modern scholars deem the Armenian Holocaust to be one of the first modern genocides, predating the Jewish Holocaust by several decades (the Herero and Namaqua Genocides occurred in 1904, predating the Armenian killings by a decade).

The murders began in early 1915, the Ottoman authorities first targeting Armenian intellectuals and community leaders. The "brains" eradicated, the Ottoman military then began picking off the confused Armenian populace. They were forced out of their homes, deprived of food and water and made to march into the deserts of Syria, where they were either shot or left to die.

Directed by Atom Egoyan, "Ararat" examines man's indifference to these crimes, the problem of artistically representing genocide, the historical ramifications of genocide and the elusive nature of truth. The result is a bizarre film that is less a satisfying piece of drama than an interesting whirlwind of ideas.

All of Egoyan's trademarks are present in "Ararat". Consider the director's earlier films, all of which revolve around some traumatic past event, their large casts gradually piecing together the past until some cohesive "truth" or "revelation" is revealed. These films are comprised of seemingly disconnected sequences and seemingly unrelated characters, vignettes that only begin to gel during some revelatory climax. These films also switch between eras, their narratives jumping from past to present to future, until history is concretized and the traumatic event is resolved in the present. Virtually all of Egoyan's films adopt this narrative structure, which seems to blend a modernist search for truth with a decidedly post-modern admittance that truth requires the careful sorting of both testimonials and subjectivity.

"Ararat" follows this same pattern. We're introduced to an Armenian artist who lived during the Armenian Holocaust. He paints a picture of his mother that, 8 decades later, is used by an art teacher as a gateway into spreading the word of the Armenian genocide.

Finding this artist to be intriguing, a Hollywood director then uses the long dead artist as the central character in a big budget movie about the Armenian Holocaust. The director turns the dour artist into an action hero, romanticising his life and embellishing history. The cast of this film is itself comprised of Turks and Armenians. The Turks naturally play the bad guys and see the whole film as a work of fiction. The Armenians, in contrast, believe the film to be factual, despite the obvious embellishments.

One Turkish actor, an obvious homosexual, has an elderly father who works at an airport security desk. He permits an Armenian boy into Turkey with both bags of cocaine and footage of the genocidal killing fields. The father's acceptance of the lawless Armenian boy mirrors his acceptance of his gay son. The Armenian boy is himself the son of a terrorist who fought against the Turks, whilst the boy's lover is the daughter of a man whom she believes was killed by the boy's father.

Confused? This complex web of characters is really a convoluted web of metaphors. Egoyan's points: Firstly, your parents may be the offspring of either the oppressors or the oppressed, but this does not implicate them in evils nor does it taint their character. Secondly, art is impotent unless it is aligned with a political cause and even then it is often misrepresented, both as a work of art and as a piece of history. Thirdly, to demonize, to deem the enemy animals or homosexuals, is to ignore their voice and their story. Fourthly, Hollywood is incapable of representing any Holocaust, film naturally seductive, romanticising events and turning their characters into heroes or messiahs. Fifthly, history itself is comprised of nothing but embellished stories passed down from generation to generation, each side tweaking the tale to fit their own ideological viewpoints. Sixthly, one can never know the past. It is lost, fragmented, and so forever lacking closure.

What the film fails to do - what all Holocaust films never bother to do - is establish why and how such an event could take place. The Ottoman Empire, which was predominantly Muslim, treated Armenians, who were predominantly Christians, as second class citizens. They were not given equal rights and were subject to strict laws, the breaking of which would lead to fines and executions.

At the same time, the Armenians were steadily amassing wealth and forging successful businesses. Because of economic problems, and their fears that Armenians would support Russia during, before and after World War 1, or even demand autonomy, the Ottoman authorities thus began a propaganda campaign which demonized the Armenians and so "justified" their eventual eradication and expulsion, freeing land for the Muslim majority and the country's wealthy rulers.

But the film doesn't seek to portray these objective truths or examine the global class, religious or political factors which led to the holocaust. Preoccupied with subjectivity, the film never digs towards its issues roots. Ironically, this is its greatest asset.

7.5/10 – Law professor Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term "genocide" in 1943, has stated that he did so with the fate of the Armenians in mind. The birth of techno-genocide is a serious issue. Egoyan's film, though the director tries hard, doesn't live up to the scope and complexity that such a serious story demands.
13 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
a giant multi-colored tapestry
stephen-35724 January 2005
A film within a film within a film that plays out through a myriad of interconnected stories sewn into a giant multi-colored tapestry. The so called "Armenian holocaust" is the fabric from which director Egoyan spins his narrative, and this event so heavily laden with emotional baggage, becomes almost impossible to approach with intellectual objectivity. The lines between fact and fiction are constantly blurred as in a scene where the protagonist walks onto a movie set about the "holocaust" and one of the characters scolds her, not as an actor, but as a very real character from that time. At times this constant commingling loses focus, but Egoyan's heartfelt attempt to bring back the dead through his art imitating art approach, succeeds surprisingly well. Although the "holocaust" is shown graphically, Egoyan is aware that we connect most deeply with that to which we can all relate, and this is shown right from the start as an artist attempts to transfer his childhood memories of murdered loved ones to a painter's canvas; the details of a mothers dress . . . the skin of a mothers hand . . . her fingers knitting a quilt. The vivid colors and simple reality of that hand are so compelling they can reach out across decades of despair to caress the forehead, reduce fever, and impart a sense of belonging - a reason for being. From this inauspicious beginning, Egoyan is able to arrive at a much greater truth: the inherent need for human beings to believe in something - whether or not that belief is grounded in reality or can be proved scientifically. Finally, ARATAT concludes with a simple truth that is just as powerful: the immeasurable but often neglected joy at being able to look upon our loved ones and to hold them in an embrace of life.
28 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Turkish-American's perspective....
Tilly Gokbudak9 February 2004
I have hesitated to see this film for many reasons, some might be obvious but others might not. I watched it on Starz the other night. I had questioned whether to go ahead and view or instead watch "All or Nothing" by one of the cinema's most intriquing directors, Mike Leigh, on another cable network. But, for better or worse, I am glad I saw this film. For starters, I have always been an admirer of Atom Egoyan. I feel he was snubbed, and should have been a best director Oscar nominee for "The Sweet Hereafter" (1997). I think he is very brave for making this film for surely even within the Armenian community there are many political povs about this issue and about how they should feel about it. I will refrain from getting into the politics of the subject matter of "Ararat" and into my own personal view about this controversy which is very much riddled in red tape for reasons I understand all too painfully well. Sadly, the rest of the world probably never will. Except, I will say, that the problem is two-fold. One, there is the Armenian conflict that Turkey and Turkish people do not accept or have outright distorted their view of history. Second, there is the reality that Turkey and the Turkish culture is very much hated, despised and oppressed in the West for reasons that partially stem from this issue as well as many others. I challenge any of you to go to a Blockbuster, or any other video store and try to find a Turkish film. I am 99 percent you will not find one even though the list of outstanding Turkish film directors is one which includes the likes of Yilmaz Guney, the director of "Baba" (The Father) "Yol" -- who was admittedly censored considerably in Turkey until recently (he died in political exile in France some 20 years ago), Ali Ozgenturk who directed "At---The Horse" and Sinan Cetin who directed the outstanding, internationally praised political comedy "Propaganda." I could also mention Serif Goren, Zeki Okten and so many others. It is a simple truth that while the West criticizes Turkey for various infractions, including its' treatment of ethnic Kurds, yet it continously suppresses the Turkish culture and Turkish people itself.Having grown up in the USa, and being half-American, I can validfy that this is the way it is. It may not be intentional, but all of us know that it some form or fashion 'the n----rs of Europe" tag applied to Turkish-Europeans applies to all of us. Now having said this one might think, I am going to criticize Egoyan for making this film. But, he has every artistic right to make "Ararat" and everyone, including people in Turkey, have a right to view this film and make their own decisions about this film. I do not consider "Ararat" a hate film as some others like "Midnight Express" and arguably "America, America" are. However, I do think the character of Ali, played by Elias Koteas, who was great in "The Thin Red Line" is cookie-cutter stereotype of Turkish-Westerners. He seems like a deliberately crude person who says things like "let's just drop our 'expletive' history" and he seems like a person devoid of any intellectual curiosity. Even though I have nothing against homosexuals, I don't think it was appropriate to make this character homosexual either. By doing so, the character plays into a stereotype that Billy Hayes utilized in his book (perhaps novel would be a more accurate word) "Midnight Express." This is the notion that all Turks are 'secretly gay' and therefore they are 'violent towards women.' My statements may seem outright ridicilous but few of you have probably endured the subliminal hatred that each of us who live in the West know to be a true fact of life. The film in a film scenes of the film actually are not ones which bother me as much. There is clearly a dark history here and it somehow has to be approached diplomatically but until the abuse of the Turkish culture is also approached, I am afraid as it was once said in "Cool Hand Luke." --- we will always have a failure to communicate.
69 out of 137 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Egoyan disappoints in Ararat
ontariokurdu24 September 2002
Although it was loudly promoted, I have not seen much positive critique of this film, other than those written by Armenians. When I watched it at the gala opening of TIFF, I wondered how such a dark film was chosen for opening night. There should be some politics involved. Ararat is a chauvinistic story filled with religious symbolism. Evil Turks (Muslim) versus innocent Armenian (Christian). American savior (missionary Dr. Ussher) in troubled lands..Difficult to watch..

Everything seems out of context and hang in the air because a central theme in that time slice of Anatolian history, namely the struggle for more territory between Turks and Armenians is avoided, missed or obscured. As a matter of fact, Ottoman Empire was colapsing and not only Armenians but also Greeks, Slavs and Arabs were trying to get a bigger territory out of it. Anatolian tragedy is still a tragedy even if one of the parties would not be presented as pure innocents. Egoyan had a very powerful story to be told but he missed it badly. He said that he gave voice also the Turks, but there is only one Turk in the movie (Ali) who is depicted as a unrefined, cruel man.

I was expecting better from Egoyan. A twisted story makes a bad film even at the hands of a good artist like Egoyan..
86 out of 174 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Slight Lecture and Much Praise!
S. C.4 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I came across the movie Ararat while doing research for a paper I was writing for school. I watched it hoping that it would give me further insight into the Armenian Genocide. I can honestly say that this movie not only enforced the research I had done, but also led me to new topics I had not yet researched myself. I strongly believe in knowing about the events in a movie before watching it. Otherwise, you can sit through an entire film and not understand the meaning or significance that it holds. For instance, if you watch a film on Gallipolli (a very important battle for the Australians in the First World War) you may not know what it means for the people who were involved (like most people who live outside of Australia). However, if you take time to do a little research before hand you can easily watch a film about it and understand its importance. That said, I believe that this applies to Ararat in the same way. If you don't take the time to research the Armenian Genocide along with other aspects of the film such as the Van Resistance, Arshile Gorky, Clarence Ussher or even Aghtamar Island, you can never fully understand this movie (or any other film about the Armenian Genocide as well). I thought this movie was the perfect mix of storyline and documentation. In my opinion, it presented the facts of the Armenian Genocide accurately and effectively, without turning into a documentary about it. It showed how it still affects the Armenians of today, even though it happened a little bit less than one hundred years ago. How there could still be such denial and hatred between the people who were involved. The fact that we know so much about the holocaust that Adolf Hitler carried out and so little about this Holocaust, that started only 18 years before Hitler came to power, is shocking and deeply upsetting. I recommend this film highly, as not only an important piece on this historical event, but also an excellent film. I must applaud Atom Egoyan for doing this event justice and bringing it to life on the screen.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
To trigger hatred by criticizing it...
mehmetemin190530 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am a student from Turkey, who does admit the Armenian Genocide. I am accused of being a self-hater in my country. I am even accused of betraying my own country, because I'm against Turkey's governmental policy. According to this I started watching this movie with a prejudgement. I was sure I would like the movie. But things didn't go that way. There's a movie shot by Turkish which tells about 1914, just before the deportation and execution of Armenians started. I watched it and hated it. It is called "120". I hated it because it showed Armenians as traitors to the Ottoman Empire. There were also "good" Armenians but because of the atmosphere it seemed very weird that they are like that. It was like "Armenians are evil by nature but there are some odd exceptions" I voted that movie 1/10. Now I feel like it was unfair. Now I have to vote "Ararat" under that. Because "Ararat" doesn't even contain a slightly good Turkish character. However we know that there are many Turkish villagers who helped their Armenian neighbours during the Genocide by hiding them. There are also many people in Turkey who do not believe what their government tell them and struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. There's a campaign Turkish people have started to collect signatures, which apologizes to Armenians because of what happened. The campaign has already collected 28.000 signatures. Atom Egoyan strictly ignores every humanistic behaviour from the Turkish. This leads to hatred and hostility. I believe if we show this movie to an Armenian/Turkish nationalist, it would increase its hatred against Turkish/Armenian. An artist must be more responsible. Because what he/she creates appeals to many and their reaction to that may be crucial. This movie is very subjective and there's a high risk that it may trigger hatred and hostility. I, as a person from Turkey who denies to call himself Turkish because of his repulsion against nationalism, am offended.
18 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
kadar6 August 2004
This is a very flawed movie by a well-regarded director.

One major problem is the star-role presence of his ubiquitous (in his films) wife, who can't act well and simply cannot use her voice expressively or effectively. Her monotonic droning, in film after film, is irritating.

Another is that he doesn't have the directorial chops to film in an epic style such as the Armenian battle scenes require.

The lopsided voting pattern here seems to be the result of ethnocentric ballot-box stuffing. All those "10"s could only mean that thousands of Egoyan's compatriots have invaded the board and voted politically rather than esthetically or rationally.
40 out of 81 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
important but deeply flawed study of an ethnic tragedy
Roland E. Zwick24 July 2003
In 1915, right in the midst of World War I when the eyes of the world were focused on other corners of the planet, the Turks slaughtered over a million of their own Armenian citizens in a holocaust that the Turks to this day deny ever happened. Atom Egoyan's complex, though not entirely successful film, `Ararat,' attempts to show just how long a shadow this horrific genocide still casts over the Armenian people today.

Rather than simply make a film set at the time of the genocide, Egoyan has chosen to set his film in the present and have his vast assortment of characters reflect on what this almost century-old event means to them in their present lives (most of them are second generation Armenians and Turks living in Canada). One of those characters is an aged film director who, in honor of his mother who endured the atrocities, has come to Canada to make a film about the event. Thus, all the glimpses we get of the actual genocide are film-within-a-film reenactments. In a bit of irony, Egoyan shows just how difficult it is for any work of art to faithfully capture the `truth' of such an event, for falsehoods inevitably creep into the picture the moment the artist alters even minor facts under the guise of `artistic license.' This is particularly ironic given the fact that `truth' and `facts' are such an important part of the case the Armenians have built against the Turks. The film deals head-on with what is `truth' and how much of history comes down to a matter of personal perception.

Egoyan has provided a veritable labyrinth of characters and events, so much so that it becomes almost impossible to provide anything near a comprehensive summary of either the plot or the people who are caught in its entanglements and complexities. Suffice it to say that the film deals with such weighty themes as the intricacies of mother/child relationships, coming to terms with the ghosts from both the private and collective past, and the part denial plays in assuaging our own sense of guilt and responsibility for unspeakable events in history. This denial then allows us to live our lives in unconcerned complacency.

Egoyan views his film almost as a giant canvas and he keeps throwing characters onto it, often without painting the strokes in clear enough detail for us to understand fully what is going on (an apt analogy, given the fact that one of the characters is an actual painter and he deliberately leaves part of his artwork unfinished). Some of the people we meet are fascinating and complex, while others seem underdeveloped and too enigmatic to make much of a contribution to our comprehension of the material. Occasionally, we get the nagging impression that a number of the minor characters and plot strands are left hanging in a state of unresolved limbo. Moreover, the film occasionally lapses into a pedantic tone, as if the writer felt it more important to provide us with a history lesson than involve us in a drama. What promises to be an enlightening character study frequently becomes a polemic.

Structurally, `Ararat' is very complex, with the director cutting back and forth between characters in the present, one character in the past, and the events of the genocide as depicted in the film being made. Egoyan deserves credit for bringing it all together even if the very artifice of the format ends up distancing the audience from the emotional immediacy of this very grim subject matter. `Ararat' is more of an intellectual exercise than an emotionally involving drama, but it does serve a salutary purpose in raising the public's consciousness about a shameful, tragic moment in history that has for too long gone unrecognized by the general public.
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ararat is a work of Propaganda
blwidey21 November 2004
This movie is definitely a work of propaganda not of art. Its amazing how much time, energy and resources people manage to put into portraying their own skewed versions of history as a fact. The question of "Armenian genocide" is debated by serious academic historians and should not be presented as a historical fact. This movie proves to be a complete work of fiction and propaganda.

Unfortunately, viewers with no proper historical education or understanding of the context, region, and period in history are prone to misunderstanding the matter. Moreover, such deliberate misrepresentations aggravate tensions between Turkish and Armenian populations, which is unnecessary and damaging. I encourage more constructive initiatives that present an unbiased version such politically sensitive and academically debated subjects.
34 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Pure propaganda
ebirinci26 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
What a mind-numbing piece of pure propaganda. I simply cannot believe most users gave good reviews for this movie. Not only is this movie simply a bad movie that is extremely difficult to sit through, it's also one that goes to such great lengths to prove its "message" that the fabrications become utterly hilarious.

The director is trying to associate the genocide that took place in Germany with what he proposes was happening in the Ottoman Empire. This desperate attempt is so apparent at some points in the movie that it becomes outrageous. There is a suggestion that the Turks decided to kill all Armenians with a "planned and systematic" decision (a direct quote out of U.N's definition of genocide, mind you!). By the way, these Armenians are the same people with whom the Turks had been living side by side as neighbors, friends, commercial partners.. etc. peacefully in the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years. What is completely laughable about this whole situation is the reason given for this so-called genocide: The claim that Armenians got a hold of finances in the Ottoman Empire and were controlling money markets! This bold lie (which lacks the backing of any kind of historical evidence) shows how desperate the director's attempt is at drawing parallels between the Jews in Germany and the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

The characters in the movie lack depth and sophistication. The Turks in the movie are either gay men who are unsure about their identity, drug dealers, rapists or tyrant Pashas. The extreme bias in the movie is so apparent and even the plot weakens and slows down so much at some points that watching some of the scenes is like a torture.

The movie depicts Turks as "possessing the latest technological weaponry", armed against the "poor, innocent, helpless" Armenians. What an outrageous lie. The Turks at that point in the World War I were an extremely poor nation, being attacked at all fronts by imperialist powers such as Britain, France, Italy and Russia, who wanted to get a piece of the "cake" that was the Ottoman Empire. In their desperate attempt at survival, a lot of Turkish soldiers could not even get hold of bayonets, let alone rifles, and did not even have proper clothing for fighting! This was a violent war, and both Turks and Armenians were killed. Why doesn't the movie talk about what the Armenian terrorists and guerrilla did to the Turkish villages? Where are the Armenian bandits who raped and killed Turkish women? This is such a one-sided story that it even justifies an abominable terrorist act such as killing an innocent Turkish diplomat. At one point, one of the main characters implies that such "hatred" towards the Turks, and what they supposedly did, justifies and legitimates the assassinations of lots and lots of Turkish diplomats by Armenian terrorists in the 70s and 80s. The terrorists who committed these acts, according to the movie, are so-called freedom fighters.

I think it's so ironic that Charles Aznavour at some point wonders: "I can't believe how someone could hate us so much, and this hatred still continues". The imagined hatred he talks about does not exist. What exists, though, is the Armenian hatred that shows throughout the whole movie: this movie is filled with pure hatred towards the Turks, and it's not a subtle hatred either.

It makes me sick to the stomach when the imperialist Western powers can so easily blame the Turks for having committed a genocide when their own hands are full of blood from the massacres they've committed both in the heart of Europe, the Americas and also in their colonies. It is extremely hypocritical of them to even talk about "genocide" when they failed to act upon a genocide that was happening before their very eyes in the 90's: the Bosnian genocide. This movie shows how easy it is to manipulate truths and focus on hatred using cinema as a tool.
18 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
erencicek14 April 2006
I believe this movie is built on hate, the feeling that made those days like hell. Promoting this feeling and expressing it with more hatred does not help overcoming this negative state of mind. A sensitive story like this could have been told with a more elegant way, by not separating people into groups/races again, as it was maybe the main mistake of that century. Egoyan is free to believe anything he deems right, but this story is far from providing a broad and/or just vision. Pointing the finger to a person, a race or a nation as Egoyan did is may be the easiest way to impress the audience, but not the virtuous one.
17 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One of the worst films I've ever seen
levski-118 February 2003
I'm not a great fan of Egoyan, but I did find Felicia's Journey fairly competent. This last attempt (Ararat) is a sacrilege, a clumsy blundering mess of a film and a huge disservice to the Armenian people. If I were Armenian, I think I'd be very offended.
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Unfortunate movie
Kroshe26 June 2006
I love Egoyan and I love the language of his movies. But this movie is awful (even The Sweet Hereafter was much better than this!). I watched it last night and I still can't believe the degree of the technical poorness; both in acting and in directing. We all know the story: Armenians say there was a genocide, Turks say there was not. I will not comment on that. What I don't understand is how a very talented director can direct such a crap movie which is full of technical mistakes? I know a lot of final year students who can direct much better than this. Sorry to say but this movie was a total disappointment for me.
11 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Highly Disappointing!
allallo16 February 2004
After all the buzz, I finally saw this movie on Starz... the best I can say is too much negative energy going on in this movie, and it's highly unrealistic...

It seems to me like, all the Turkish characters portrayed in this movie are either sadist,psychopath, or well... overly exaggerated as evil... And all the armenian characters are ... well all good...

The Turkish characters in this movie are so disappointingly ill faced, instead of hating them and feeling pity about the poor armenians I started wondering why this movie started to feel so disappointingly unrealistic -even surreal-... even the lead young character Raffi's father, who happens to be a terrorist killing diplomats, is good... because he has a good 'cause... a terrorist is a terrorist and no good cause can make him/her good in my book, or make me feel bad about terrorists and terror... as a new yorker, I hate terrorism and whoever supports it... did i type hate ? I mean, do not tolerate... guess all the negative energy in this movie is taking me over...

Also in this movie, there's a reference to a supposedly Adolf Hitler statement... "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" The director is willing to gain support of the jews against all "evil" turks, trying to link to the holocaust... and wants us to come to the conclusion that the holocaust is related to the actions of turks against armenians... Hitler was a student of history after all...

I never heard of this before, so I decided to do some research on the net.. and I found this book while searching google for Armenia and Hitler: "ARMENIA--SECRETS OF A "CHRISTIAN" TERRORIST STATE-- by Samuel A. Weems

"Mr. Weems, a US citizen of Scottish descent and a former district attorney (prosecutor) and judge, aims with his new book to draw attention to the fact that Armenia fabricates falsehoods and supports terrorist activity to secure US financial assistance. He believes that the Armenian state is a dictatorship and has established an international network to support Armenian terror. What's more, Weems believes that during World War II many Armenians gave active support to Hitler's forces and fought shoulder-to-shoulder with Nazis in the Northern Caucasus and the Netherlands. In addition, Weems uncovered evidence in Armenian newspapers proving that Nazi secret agents working in Turkey in 1941-1944 were aided by Armenians."

how about that?

Interesting, and I don't know whether all this's true or not... Maybe it's as true as the history told in this movie... but I must say this... one shouldn't base his/her opinions on so called historical facts shown in a movie... google is our friend, let's do some research and read...

And one more thing, hate does not bring peace and love...

peace :)

11 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not true
mustaineoz13 March 2006
I watched the movie but i didn't understand how can they make a film like this!!!The first thing,Turkish people didn't do anything against Ermenian people so it is not showing right opinions to the other people.So all is wrong at the film and the stories are jumping quick so it is difficult to follow the film. The vivid colors and simple reality of that hand are so compelling they can reach out across decades of despair to caress the forehead, reduce fever, and impart a sense of belonging - a reason for being. From this inauspicious beginning, Egoyan is able to arrive at a much greater truth: the inherent need for human beings to believe in something...

So there is no genocide,there are lots of books in turkey showing the truth but people trying to believe what they want!Turkish government started to interest this more than before,because lots of people started to think all these are truth!!!Soon everybody will understand that Turkish people didn't do again Ermanian and we are living peace at Turkey...
14 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ok, ok, we get the message. Jeesh!
George Parker25 July 2003
"Ararat" is a messy story about Armenians making a film about Armenians and lecturing about Armenians while showing historical retrospectives about Armenians...etc. This convoluted hodge-podge of dramas has an obvious common denominator. Armenians. Specifically the genocidal killing of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 during WWI by the Turks. The film fails as a history lesson as we could learn more in 15 minutes of Inet surfing. It fails as a drama because all the characters are overacted, everything is waaaaaay too serious, and the screenplay simply tries to do too much in too little time. For Armenians or those with an interest in Armenians only. (C+)
10 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Totally Baseless Accusations
Efe Celiktaban17 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a great example of baseless, unbelievable and wrong accusations. Some junkie trying to smuggle HEROIN in Canada and trying to fool the customs officer by telling a weird story of an unreal genocide. The funny part is that Mr. Atom declared that the movie has no political value. This movie was intended only to mislead peoples belief about what REALLY happened at that time. This movie is definitely not objective, it shows only one side of the coin. At the end of the movie the customs officer gets so emotional, even tough he finds the heroin, he lets the junkie go on his way. Now how can you believe a movie like this!
13 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hatred Crap!
zaferzipzip31 January 2007
This movie is a crap since it fails one thing that was accomplished by some other movies such as Schindler's List, Pianist or Hotel Rwanda. It is Humanity. Since it forgets about Turks were human beings too, this movie is serving nothing but hatred. Egoyan must be thinking that he made a movie that touches people s hearts. Well... I must say that the movie only touched my -beep- with its love making scenes.

Mr. Egoyan could choose a different way that reminds both sides of genocide that they were human beings but he did not. He put it this way since he wanted to have his revenge from Turks and wanted to gain Christian westerners support. one hand, intellectual, art-lover Armenians, on the other hand, rapist, murderous, ignorant, so on and so for Turks. Good Job! Mr. Egoyan. Did you get what you want! Maybe u did but u ll not get it from me. Do you think I care about what my ancestor did to Armenians. I haven t kill anybody ,my father did not kill anybody and my grandpa s did not kill anybody and i really don t care if my grandpa s father killed anybody or a rapist or a serial killer or torturer. should I care about my descendants I don t even know their names for only sharing the same bloodline.

No one has a right to force me feel ashamed about my past. Mr. Egoyan have you ever heard of human rights. it clearly says that no one can be held responsible for what he or she did not. And So far no one has talked about ASALA that u justify at the end of the movie. Mr. Egoyan ASALA was internationally declared terrorist organization which assassinated Turkish diplomats, assassinations were carried out in a so bloody way that sometimes ended up killing more innocent European civilians than the target himself.

For those who took a history lesson from it on how to prevent a genocide. u can apply your learning to Darfur which is happening today . I hope u have the same sympathy for these black Africans too.

I don t even talk about the technical aspects of the movie. Because the movie technically sucks. Very poor , pretentious acting. Poor art direction, and poor directing full of long, boring didactic preaching etc...

I hope someday another movie is made on the same subject matter ,and this time he or she will give us a hope for peace.and I hope this director will be Egoyan ,and he ll do it right this time.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I can't watch it
Ugras Ergün30 January 2004
Well it's a shame that they can't show this movie in Turkey, because a fascist organization ( They call themselves idealist movement their ideal is Turan (A big country which unite all the Turks form the Balkans to Middle Asia (China))) threaten producers, so we can't watch it. We want to learn what Armenians believe... We Turks don't deny a lot of Armenians died but also a lot of Turks died, our ancestors killed Armenians and they killed us. So The government decided to exile all the Armenians. At least they teach us that. Did Ottomans tried to kill all Armenians? I don't know but nobody too there is no evidence, No evidence that it was a Genocide and no evidence that it was not a genocide. So people don't investigate they believe what they want Turks believe we are innocent, Armenians believe they are innocent. But none of us, we are both guilty, Each side has their own responsibility.

I hope it is not subjective as I expect.
11 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Not only artistically intriguing ... but historically.
R_Allen23 November 2002
As an American, I have followed the history of the Armenian genocide. It is powerful to see a movie with-in a movie that brings forth such poignant historical truth. i give this movie an A+. It is very promising to see an Independent-type film perform so well. I look forward to its nation-wide release.
10 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews