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March 23

The Armenian Homeland and Diaspora:
Reflections of Two Filmmakers

This program offers two very different reflections on the diaspora in contemporary Armenian society. Examining the dialectical divide between Western and Eastern Armenians, these nonfiction portraits reveal the richness of Armenian culture both within the homeland and throughout diasporic communities.

The program is co-presented with Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society and the Amaras Art Alliance. Special thanks to Ara Nazarian.


SPECIAL EVENT- $10 Admission
Director Nigol Bezjian In Person
March 23 (Friday) 7 pm

Return of the Poet (Poeti Veradardze)

Directed by Harutyun Khachatryan
Armenia 2005, color, 35mm, 82 min.
Armenian with English subtitles

A truly cinematic oddity, this unique, virtually wordless documentary explores the legacy of Armenian poet and folk singer Ashugh Jivani. Eschewing conventional biography the filmmaker first follows the creation of a statue of the great poet, painstakingly hewn from a seemingly impervious chunk of rock. He then accompanies the statue's peculiar journey, and “so begins a cross-country odyssey in which sculptor and poet revisit ancient Armenian sites and traditions, folk dances, churchyards, peasants on carts and shantytowns filled with the poor and unemployed… Khachatryan leaves much unsaid and implicit, letting the viewer marvel at the timeless scenery as the statue glides by with its expression of supernatural calm.” (Variety)

roads full of Apricots

Directed by Nigol Bezjian, Appearing in Person
Lebanon 2001, video, color, 35 min.

Addressing questions of cultural identity amidst tragic historical circumstances, this documentary relates the filmmaker's personal experience of being displaced from his civil war-torn country to a more universal exploration of memory. Using archival images, roads full of Apricots is a tribute to history, films, literature, and the inner experience of nostalgia.

Verve

Directed by Nigol Bezjian, Appearing in Person
Lebanon 2002, video, color, 15 min.

A reflection on folk dancing, whose ancient art form is one of the
many ways in which Armenian culture has persevered in the face of national tragedy. Detailing the gentle, understated movements and passions of the dancer, Bezjian excerpts several dances, including a mesmerizing performance by Shakeh Avanessian.

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