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Ararat (2002)

R | | Drama, War | 6 December 2002 (USA)
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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Cast

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

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ararát  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$211,130 (USA) (17 November 2002)

Gross:

$1,554,566 (USA) (26 January 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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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

Clarence Ussher: [Ani has interrupted his performance] What is this? God-damnit! We're surrounded by Turks. We've run out of supplies, most of us will die. The crowd needs a miracle, this child is bleeding to death. If I can save his life, it may give us the spirit to continue. This is his brother... his pregnant sister was raped in front of his eyes, before her stomach was slashed open, to stab her unborn child. His father's eyes were gouged out of his head and stuffed into his mouth. And his mother's breasts ...
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 Escape from the Newsroom (2002) 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

 
Fantastic - and with more layers than you might imagine.
18 November 2002 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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!


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