Film About NK War by Armenian Screened at 34th Rotterdam FilmFest

FILM TELLING ABOUT KARABAKH WAR BY ARMENIAN EDITOR SCREENED AT 34TH
ROTTERDAN FILM FESTIVAL

YEREVAN, JANUARY 28. ARMINFO. Four short films by Armenian editors
Arsen Azatian and Narine Lazarian participate in the 34th Rotterdam
Film Festival (Holland) opened Thursday. Head of the International
Festival “Gold Apricot,” a member of the Association of Movie Critics
and Movie Journalists, a jury of Rotterdam Festival Susanna
Haroutiunyan told ARMINFO.

She said that Azatian’s film “At the Roadside” (“Champezrin”) was
presented at the festival. A beautiful, sympathetic story about war
and the need to have a home. 1992, Karabakh: a military convoy is
evacuating the civilian population that is being shelled. In a
deserted area, the soldiers try to persuade an old man who refuses to
leave his home to come with them. The stubborn old man – who speaks in
the Karabakh dialect – is played by the excellent actor Rafael
Jrbashian. Besides, three films by Narine Lazarian will be screened
at the festival.

<Donkey> – a friendly, poetic episode from the life of a man, his
donkey and their dialogue. A friendly, poetic episode of the everyday
life of a man, his donkey and their dialogue.

<Bobo>, the ‘bogey-man’ is dedicated to and is about the brilliant
film director Sergei Paradzhanov (1924-1990). The film festival has a
special bond with Paradzhanov; Hubert Bals had invited him personally
to come and receive a cash prize in 1988 in Rotterdam, which was
Paradzhanov’s first journey outside the Soviet Union. Paradzhanov’s
visit was an ’emotional high point’ (Peter van Bueren) of Bals’ last
(seventeenth) festival.The film shows Paradzhanov via a roundabout
route. We see him arrive severely ill in Yerevan, the capital of
Armenia, after a stay in Paris. Later, after his death, his body is
prepared for a death mask. We also see pictures of Paradzhanov at home
and the shooting of what to be his last film, Confession. He
interrupted this production himself when he realised that the means
available were completely inadequate.The soundtrack quotes Paradzhanov
about a variety of issues. He talks about his discord with the
authorities, narrates lyrically about his stay in Rotterdam and above
all about his art. There is lots of bitterness as Paradzhanov talks
about the constitutional state, soldiers and his imprisonment.A calm
camera style helps capture the melancholy of Paradzhanov’s last
days. Pictures of nature, the city, the airport ensure a visual story
filled with contrast. The camera does not provoke, but
reflects. <Radio Yerevan > – a refrigerator truck loaded with
humanitarian aid arrives in Armenia. The drivers are unable to locate
the road to Yerevan and keep looking for it. Parallel to this a string
of ludicrous stories unfolds. This is the story of Radio Yerevan in a
nutshell, according to its makers. They added: ‘This looks like a
simple rendition of the main plot, but it certainly isn’t. The truck
is not important, nor is the fact that the drivers only find Yerevan
when they leave the town, nor even the chain of extremely ludicrous
events, nor the boy’s flashbacks to the sixties, nor the ‘radio’
effects that play with reality, nor even the eroticism. The substance
of this film cannot be put into words and the plot can at most be
expressed in a poetic image: ‘within the depth of your blue eyes my
heart is yearning for the golden splash’. The need for this film today
was hanging in the air. The film is so short that it does not
distinguish between important and irrelevant, black and white, hours
and seconds. The film is laughter you wouldn’t want to share with
others, like secret self-inflicted wounds. We simply tried to open up
the innermost, most fragile and cherished layers of our egos and the
instinct to survive makes us laugh. And the laughter drives us
mad. Our country is at war today and that frightens us. But if we’re
scared, we fight more bravely, confront death more daringly and end up
laughing. What makes us laugh? Is it war, death or bravery? We do not
aspire to provide ready answers with the film, we’re all in the same
boat. We merely cry out about what you hear in the outcry. Take it or
leave it: this is our expression of the self. Radio Yerevan was made
with the support of the Rotterdam Film Festival.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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