‘Spellbinding’: Inside the hobbit-themed hotel deep in an Armenian forest

Jan 2 2023
By Rebecca Ann Hughes with AP

The cottages have round wooden doors painted bright colours and windows set at jaunty angles.

Hidden away in northern Armenia is a magical place where JRR Tolkien fans can live out their Lord of the Rings fantasy.

Deep in the snow-covered forest of Dilijan, two brothers have built a hobbit-style village that welcomes guests from all over the world.

The clutch of cottages is attached to their hobbit-inspired Cozy House hotel, which opened in 2019.

Each cottage of the hobbit village has been carefully crafted to re-create the ambience of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy.

“I've tried to incorporate my professional expertise into this business,” explains Edgar Gulanyan, one of the brothers who founded the accommodation.

“I made an effort to maintain our distinctive style and uniqueness.”

The cottages have round wooden doors painted bright colours and windows set at jaunty angles.

Inside the village restaurant, the walls are covered with quirky artwork – the scales of a fish are made from old vinyl records while a snail’s shell reveals a hidden magnifying glass.

Sales manager Khachik Hakobyan says staff here wanted to create a unique getaway, not just another mountain retreat.

“The competition in Dilijan was quite high, especially since 2019. We had to think about creating something that would attract tourists. We had to create something that is out of the box and that brings a new style,” he says.

Every gate, door, hinge and window has been specially made to imitate Tolkien’s land of little people.

Cozy House hotel and its cottages attract people looking for something a little unorthodox.

"We wanted something out of the ordinary. This style of the cottage caught our attention,” says guest Marine Petrosyan.

Khachik believes their mission has been a success, attracting visitors from all over the world.

“Many people when learning there is such a place in Dilijan, they visit Armenia especially to stay at this hotel as they are fans of Tolkien’s book and the movie,” he says.

It’s the prospect of being part of a Lord of the Rings story that attracted guest Christina Thomas.

She says children find the village spellbinding.

“I was looking for unique places to stay in Armenia and this came up as one of the number one locations to stay in, and we’ve read these books 'Lord of the Rings', so these little hobbit houses really excited us,” she says.

“[The children] were very excited staying in these little houses.”

In the deep of winter, the fantastical hamlet has become a snowy wonderland, much to the pleasure of the guests.

“All the pictures of the place were very green, because the pictures they've taken were in summer. But you know, now coming here and seeing this whole place in snow… I think we made a very good choice to come in winter," says Christina.

"It looks beautiful, it looks very magical, just like out of a book or a movie.”


‘Religious Cleansing’ threatens Armenian Christians’ existence, Human Rights leaders warn

Dec 30 2023

The ongoing war between Azerbaijan and Armenia threatens the existence of Christian communities in the near east, former ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Sam Brownback and other Christian leaders warned in a Tuesday press briefing.

Brownback’s statements were delivered just days after he returned from afact-finding trip to Armenia with the Christian human rights group Philos Project.

Brownback, who is a Catholic, called Islamic Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia and its ongoing blockade of the Nagorno-Karabakh region the latest attempt at “religious cleansing” of the Christian nation.

“Azerbaijan, with Turkey’s backing, is really slowly strangling Nagorno-Karabakh,” Brownback said. “They’re working to make it unlivable so that the region’s Armenian-Christian population is forced to leave, that’s what’s happening on the ground.”

The ambassador added that if the United States does not intervene, “we will see again another ancient Christian population forced out of its homeland.”

Brownback called for Congress to pass a “Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Act” to “establish basic security guarantees for the Nagorno-Karabakh population.”

He also called on the U.S. to reinstate previously used sanctions on Azerbaijan should it continue its blockade.

Christians in the near east have been subjected to similar attacks before, Brownback said. Yet according to the former ambassador, this time the religious cleansing is being “perpetrated with U.S.-supplied weaponry and backed by Turkey, a member of NATO.”

Sandwiched between the Muslim nations of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the southern Caucasus, Armenia has Christian roots that go back to ancient times. Today the population is over 90% Christian, according to a 2019 report by the U.S. State Department.

Conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has been ongoing since Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet territories, claimed the land for themselves after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. After the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, Armenia gained primary control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tensions between the two nations once again broke into outright military conflict in September 2020 when Azerbaijani troops moved to wrest control of the disputed region. The open conflict lasted only about two months, with Russia brokering a peace deal in November.

The conflict resulted in Azerbaijan gaining control of large swathes of the region. This left Armenia’s only access point to Nagorno-Karabakh a thin strip of land called the “Lachin corridor.”

A study published in the Population Research and Policy Review estimates that 3,822 Armenians and at least 2,906 Azerbaijanis were killed during the 2020 conflict.

Today, an Azerbaijani blockade of the Lachin corridor, in place since December, is crippling Armenian infrastructure in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“The situation is extremely urgent and existential,” Philos Project President Robert Nicholson said. “This is the oldest Christian nation facing again for the second time in only about a century the possibility of a genocide.” He was referring to the deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians more than a century ago in waning years of the Ottoman Empire that the U.S. now recognizes as a genocide, a characterization that Turkey has sharply denounced.

According to Nicholson, there are 500 tons of humanitarian equipment “unable to get into Nagorno-Karabakh because of the blockade that Azerbaijan has placed upon that region.”

“There has been no natural gas flowing since March and other energy supplies, [such as] electricity, are spotty at best,” Nicholson added. “Families have been separated. Surgeries have been canceled. The 120,000 people inside [Nagorno-Karabakh] are really desperate for help.”

Though much of the media coverage about the Armenian-Azerbaijani war has characterized it as simply a territorial dispute, according to both Brownback and Nicholson, the conflict is more one of ideology and religion.

“This is in fact not just a territorial dispute,” Nicholson said. “While there are territorial questions, I see this dispute absolutely as one of values.”

According to Nicholson, “the Armenians are not asking for much.”

“The Armenians we met, and we met a lot of them, were quite minimal in their demands,” he said. “They want to live in their homeland, and they want to do so securely.”

Despite the dangers, Nicholson said that the Armenian Christian communities’ plight “is not a lost cause.”

“Shockingly, despite all the threats that they are facing, Armenia is actually quite vibrant,” Nicholson said.

“There’s room,” he added, “for the United States to play a very constructive role in helping these different parties, both of which are our allies, to reach a peaceful and just solution to end the conflict.”


Armenpress: Armenian drama Amerikatsi by Michael Goorjian shortlisted for 96th Oscars


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 22, ARMENPRESS. Filmmaker Michael Goorjian’s Amerikatsi, representing Armenia, has been shortlisted in the International Feature Film category for the 96th Academy Awards. This is the first time that an Armenian film is shortlisted by the Academy. 

Amerikatsi, an Armenian drama film written, edited, directed by, and starring Michael Goorjian, has been shortlisted alongside 14 other films.

Films from 88 countries and regions were eligible in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Armenia, Amerikatsi
Bhutan, The Monk and the Gun
Denmark, The Promised Land
Finland, Fallen Leaves
France, The Taste of Things
Germany, The Teachers’ Lounge
Iceland, Godland
Italy, Io Capitano
Japan, Perfect Days
Mexico, Totem
Morocco, The Mother of All Lies
Spain, Society of the Snow
Tunisia, Four Daughters
Ukraine, 20 Days in Mariupol
United Kingdom, The Zone of Interest

The final shortlists will be unveiled on January 24, 2024.

Kairidis: Refugee management is drastically changing – Agreements with Armenia and India, not Pakistan

Dec 23 2023

The Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Dimitris Kairidis, analysed on ERT what the new agreement in the EU on immigration means for Greece, and at the same time, denied the deal for the arrival of 500,000 workers from Pakistan. On the contrary, as he said, Greece is studying the possibility of bringing “a low-skilled workforce, with conditions and rules, because our economy needs it” from Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and possibly India.

There are special clauses to decongest the islands

“We have achieved a lot. We should rightly feel pleased about Europe as a whole. It was a very difficult negotiation that started in 2016, it actually accelerated after ’20, and the goal is to close it at the European Parliament, which will have to ratify the new agreement before the European elections finally”, the minister told “Sindeses”.

And as he added, “The most important thing is the introduction for the first time of a mandatory solidarity mechanism next to the responsibility of the first receiving states. For the first time, the solidarity of all the others enters.” In particular, as he said, asylum seekers will be proportionally distributed throughout Europe and not stay only in the country of first reception.

Speaking about the economic alternative requested by some countries, he explained to the journalists Kostas Papachliminzo and Christina Vidou that “in a period of crisis, that is, in a period of sharp increase in flows, there is no economic alternative. Hungary, Poland and the rest of the Visegrad countries (including the Czech Republic and Slovakia) are obliged to help by recruiting people.” He even characterised the new EU agreement as “something very big that drastically changes the landscape of refugee management”.

Mr. Kairidis referred to the reception time of immigrants in the host countries, which is reduced from 10 years to 18 months, and the time to decongest the islands. “We were interested in not being trapped on the islands, in the Eastern Aegean or in the Evros, to create a superstructure of 30,000 and for the rest of the Europeans to wash their hands.” As he said, there are special decongestion clauses to avoid this problem.

“We also have a clause against instrumentalisation, which was an issue we put in after the experience of the 20s, which is very high on the agenda now in Finland, which has the problem with Russia. The country will be able to take extraordinary measures, close borders to speed up the asylum process and face the crisis of instrumentalisation by a bad neighbour”, he added.

Responding to the opposition’s criticisms, Mr Kairidis said that he does not know the terms of the agreement well, giving credit to Mr Kasselakis, saying that “it is a big step that SYRIZA is now talking about deportations”.

Regarding this, he stated that “it is important to get away from the naivety or stupidity of entitlement and to make the distinction that those who are not entitled to asylum, to save the international protection system, the returnees must be returned. And it is a taboo for the Left. The fact that SYRIZA takes this step in common sense and comes to our own positions is important. This is credited to Kasselakis, along with the defence expenditures,” argued Mr Kairidis.

In discussions with Georgia, Moldova and Armenia
Making a mocking comment that “there is the body of SYRIZA, but there is also Kasselakis”, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum also commented on the posts of the president of SYRIZA regarding the discussions between Mr Georgiadis and His Pakistani counterpart on the deal to bring in 500,000 migrants.

“There is a competition from the right between St. Kasselakis and Adonis Georgiadis. I think that Adonis will win this competition because it is in his field,” he commented.

As far as this issue is concerned, Mr. Kairidis replied that there is no agreement with Pakistan. “Pakistan’s minister can say whatever he wants. After all, one of the problems we have with Pakistan is that they don’t accept the refundable ones because when you are 200 million, and you have these financial problems, you want to share them if you can,” he said, mentioning that there was also a relative denial from Islamabad.

We make the decision for immigrants, not the traffickers.

“There is no agreement. There is an agreement in the works with Georgia, Moldova, possibly Armenia, and India, where the prime minister will say after Christmas about labour mobility to deal with the increased needs of the economy now that we are running at 3%. The economy is growing so fast, and we have these pressing needs, especially in the low-skilled, not only to bring in a workforce with terms and rules but specific numbers, as our economy needs. We make the decision, not the traffickers,” emphasised Mr. Kairidis.

Asked about the intra-party reaction by Mr Samaras to the immigration amendment, he replied, “We have a government that succeeds and legislates on the complicated immigration issue with five-sixths of the Parliament. This is something unprecedented both for Greek data and even more for European data.”

“We managed to bring all the opposition, except for the extreme right, to this line and sent a message that the middle road, the road of logic that says strict border protection on the one hand, but at the same time legal migration routes, as the economy needs them with our terms and rules, this is a middle ground. It is a reasonable policy that brings results,” noted Mr. Kairidis.

We received chaos from SYRIZA on immigration

Speaking about immigration, he stated that the climate six months ago (under the weight of the Pylos tragedy) has nothing to do with today, characterising Greece as an example to be emulated in Europe. He did not fail to mention the possible assumption by Theodoros Roussopoulos of the presidency of the Organization for the Protection of Human Rights, saying that “it is a success that reflects on the government as a whole and the effort that our country is making”.

Regarding the attitude of ND officials who reacted to the immigration amendment, he stated that “the objections are absolutely legitimate and absolutely justified in a society traumatised by the experience of 2015-’19, the trauma and tragedy of the mismanagement of immigration during SYRIZA”.

He added that they received chaos in the government, and on the islands, there is anxiety about not returning in ’15 with 800,000 illegal arrivals, speaking of a “very restrictive regulation”.

The Coast Guard saved half a million people.

Responding to the complaints about the role of the Coast Guard and the pushbacks, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum stated emphatically that “the Greek Coast Guard saves lives. This is the practicality, which is not written in the newspapers, that the Coast Guard saved half a million people.”

He added that “the centre-left European voter does not want this chaos at the border. They do not want the illegals. They want order and a situation that we bring to Greece. That is why today, little Greece, in the most difficult corner of Europe, has the longest sea border with a difficult neighbour that is more than a thousand miles.”

EGT Digital in partnership with Vbet to bring unforgettable gaming experience to Armenian players

Dec 21 2023






 George Miller

EGT Digital is proud to announce its partnership with the leading Armenian betting site www.vbet.am. Now its customers can enjoy Bell Link, High Cash, Clover Chance and Single Progressive Jackpot, containing more than 90 top-performing slot titles. At players’ disposal is also the multiplayer game xRide, in which winnings are generated by increasing multiplier and the participants can track in real-time the results of everyone else playing at the moment.

“We are very happy that Vbet are now among our partners,” shared Tsvetomira Drumeva, Head of Sales at EGT Digital. “The good results of our joint work are already a fact and I am confident that this is only the beginning of a stable long-term collaboration, thanks to which we will provide local players with access to first-class gaming content.”

Ruzanna Elchyan, Head of Gaming at Vbet, also expressed her positive expectations about the cooperation with the Bulgarian provider: “EGT Digital’s games have been demonstrating an excellent performance so far and are our customers’ favorites. I believe that they will attract many new visitors to our site and will facilitate the strengthening of our leadership market positions.”


MP: Estonia should prioritize Turkish relations over recognizing Armenian genocide

Estonia – Dec 20 2023

Estonia does not need to start weakening relations with Turkey by recognizing the Armenian genocide, Chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (Reform) said on Tuesday, in response to a proposal by the foreign minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200).

During an official visit to Yerevan last week, Tsahkna released a statement saying Estonia would work towards recognizing the 1915 genocide.

Tsahkna told ERR on Wednesday his proposal is nothing new and was first put forward by President Arnold Rüütel in 2004. Estonia's allies, such as the USA, Sweden, Germany, Latvia, and Lithuania, have also recognized the event as genocide, he added.

The issue must now be discussed in the Riigikogu and the ball is in its court, the minister said.

"And I know that there are such discussions. This is nothing urgent, but it is more of a question of values that goes along with our own broader concept of the rule of law, genocide, all the international crimes against humanity that we have been very clear about and that Russia is also carrying out today in relation to Ukraine. I have stated my position, and it is now up to the Riiigkogu to debate the matter," Tsahkna said.

Mihkelson: Issue should have been discussed with Riigikogu first

Mihkelson said Tsahkna's proposal was a "surprise" and the topic is not being discussed in the Riigikogu.

"We all read about it in the minister's social media post. The foreign minister apparently missed the little nuance that if we are seeking the widest possible support in the Riigikogu on this issue, it is better to engage with our partners and colleagues through the Parliament and see what the willingness is on the ground to get broad support for such a bill before announcing it on social media," the MP said.

"Communicating with representatives of various factions, I do not see that this is a topical issue at the moment and that such a bill be processed will by the Riigikogu," he added.

Mihkelson did not rule out putting forward a draft on the matter in the future, but said politics is always in the background. At the moment he believes prioritising relations with Turkey is more important.

"We understand perfectly well what has happened in history, and Estonia's foreign policy is, after all, more broadly set to stand up for these values, so that no crime against humanity goes unpunished or is repeated. But at this point in time, with a very turbulent world, and with the news coming out of Ukraine rather more worrying than it was six months ago, and with a number of serious problems to be solved in keeping the allied space together, any additional tension between the allies, not least because of our own actions, is certainly not in Estonia's security interests," said Mihkelson.

"What is important for Estonia in international foreign policy at the moment is precisely the issues of ensuring security and strengthening the alliance space, not weakening it. This is a clear priority in our foreign policy, this is my personal view," he added.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicates with Turkey

Mihkelson indicated that Turkey had a very clear and critical reaction to Tsahkna's statement.

"Estonia has concluded a very substantial defense cooperation agreement with Turkey for armored vehicles. Turkey is a very important ally in NATO. We have, of course, also conveyed these messages to our Turkish counterparts through direct contacts and diplomatic channels," he said.

Tsahkna said Turkish officials have asked what Estonia's plans are.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told ERR the Estonian ambassador in Ankara has explained Estonia's positions. There has also been communication with the Turkish ambassador in Tallinn.

"In our discussions, we stressed the importance of bilateral relations and a continued strong alliance with Turkey. Estonia does not attribute the Armenian genocide to any of today's countries. We believe that speaking openly about what happened in history will contribute to the development of democratic societies and also prevent the recurrence of these crimes," the ministry said.

The Armenian genocide took place in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire systematically destroyed and deported Armenians, causing the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

The Armenian National Institute said 32 countries have recognized the killing of Armenians as genocide. However, Turkey does not believe the claim and some countries have allegedly not recognized the genocide to keep up good relations.

Last year, representatives of the Association of Estonian National Minorities called on the Riigikogu to recognize the Armenian genocide

US ambassador to Armenia meets with Karabakh youth


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. US ambassador to Armenia Kristina Kvien on Friday met with a group of young people from Nagorno-Karabakh to discuss the challenges they have faced and the opportunities they see in Armenia for greater inclusion through civic engagement, informs the US embassy in Armenia, the U.S. Embassy said.

“On Human Rights Day, recognized this week, and every day, the rights of those displaced must be acknowledged and defended,” the embassy added.

Cyprus and Armenia build on long-standing ties

Cyprus Mail
Dec 12 2023

Cyprus and Armenia have reiterated their preparedness to confront unforeseen threats, Defence Minister Michalis Georgallas said on Tuesday following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Suren Papikyan, on an official visit to Cyprus.

The reception took place early in the morning, followed by private discussions between the delegations of the two countries.

Both ministers stressed the long-standing relationship between the two nations, their defence cooperation and trilateral cooperation with Greece.

Among other topics discussed were the Cyprus problem, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Georgallas also briefed his counterpart on recent provocations in Pyla and Ayios Dhometios and on Nicosia’s proposal concerning the humanitarian aid for Gaza.

The minister highlighted Armenia’s significant friendship with Cyprus and said that the current visit “builds upon the long-standing bilateral relationships, confirming the bonds of friendship, mutual trust and respect between the two countries.”

Moreover, he mentioned that he provided an opportunity to discuss strengthening these ties, with discussions covering bilateral defence cooperation, cooperation at the regional level, threats and challenges faced and readiness to counter unpredictable threats.

Papikyan highlighted the centuries-old relationship between Cyprus and Armenia and said his country strongly supports a resolution to the Cyprus problem based on UN resolutions.

He added that the two countries face common threats and join forces to counter them, confirming that they are not only friends but also allies.

Additionally, Papikyan mentioned discussions with his counterpart about developing cooperation in defence and security matters, expressing further prospects for bilateral collaboration that should be exploited.

He thanked Nicosia for its principled stance on Armenia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity before extending an invitation to Georgallas to visit Armenia, which was accepted.

Azerbaijan eyes up COP29 climate talks with Armenian agreement, Russian backing

Dec 8 2023
Azerbaijan needs approval from the UN eastern Europe regional group in order for it's bid to be successful.

Azerbaijan is tipped to host next year's UN climate summit, after striking a late deal with longtime adversary Armenia over its bid.

Diplomatic sources told Reuters the Azeri bid looked set to win support from other nations, though the issue is still being negotiated at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

The decision over who will take over from current COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates, has been in an unprecedented geopolitical deadlock, after Russia said it would veto any European Union country's bid to host. The EU has sanctioned Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

Azerbaijan confirmed late on Thursday it had struck a deal with Armenia that allows Baku to bid to host the COP29 talks without the threat of an Armenian veto.

The choice of a COP host needs support from all countries in the UN eastern Europe regional group.

"We received particular support from most of the countries [in the eastern European group]. Russia has also supported our bid," Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada said on Friday.

A representative for Russia's delegation at COP28 declined to comment. Russia's Energy Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Armenia agreed to back Azerbaijan's COP hosting bid in exchange for membership of the eastern European group's COP bureau.

The two Caucasian countries have been in conflict for decades, most notably over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but largely populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians. The region had been controlled by its ethnic Armenian majority until it was recaptured by Azerbaijan in September.

Diplomatic sources at COP28 told Reuters other eastern European countries are expected to back Baku's bid to host – even though Moldova had also made a bid and Serbia was mulling one.

Diplomats are racing to find a deal before COP28's scheduled end on 12 December.

The deadlock over the host has left next year's COP29 summit host with little time to prepare for the massive gathering – which can bring its host nation diplomatic prestige, as well as heavy scrutiny over its own record in fighting climate change.

Azerbaijan is an oil and gas producer and a member of OPEC+.

The United Arab Emirates has faced criticism for appointing Sultan al-Jaber, the head of its state-run oil company ADNOC, as president of this year's COP28 summit.

Some delegates at COP28 have raised concerns about holding the world's climate negotiations in an oil producer for a second year running.

"I do understand these concerns," Hajizada said.

"Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is rich in oil and gas, Azerbaijan's strategic goals are the diversification of energy, resources, especially applied to wind and solar energy," he said. 


Film Review Aurora’s Sunrise review – remarkable story of genocide horror and survival

The Guardian, UK
Nov 20 2023
Leslie Felperin

In archive interviews and painterly animated reconstrucions, Aurora Mardiganian recalls her experiences during the Armenian genocide – and how she escaped to the US and became a silent film star

Given the word “genocide” is being flung every which way these days, it’s worth revisiting the atrocities that helped prompt the coinage of the term – although of course the practice itself has happened throughout history. This harrowing but utterly fascinating and formally inventive film – a hybrid of animation and archive footage – recounts the biography of a young Armenian woman, Arshaluys Mardiganian, later renamed Aurora, who experienced firsthand the Armenian genocide which unfolded during the first world war. She not only miraculously survived but went on to play herself in a 1919 silent film called Auction of Souls about her own terrifying experience. This may make her the first subject of a biopic to play themself in a movie, but that’s only one small factoid in a story which is full of wonder, tragedy, copious horrors and – finally – hope and wisdom.

There are effectively three Aurora/Arshaluys in this film. The first is the real Aurora Mardiganian, whom we first meet as an elderly lady who loves to wear coquettish hair bows. In archive footage shot not long before she died in 1994, Aurora tells interlocutors the story of her life, sometimes in Armenian and sometimes in English. This footage is edited together with animation made using paper cutouts and semi-rotoscoped characters who act out Aurora’s story. Via painterly watercolour imagery that stylises and mercifully dampens the worst of the atrocities, we see how Aurora went from a happy young teenage girl in a large wealthy family who put on plays in their backyard to an orphaned refugee on a death march, raped and sold into slavery but capable of escaping several times. Eventually she emigrates to America where her story becomes the basis at first of sensationalist newspaper reports and later a memoir which is then turned into Auction of Souls in Hollywood, and the few surviving fragments of this film provide a third avatar of Aurora.

Armenian director Inna Sahakyan glides between registers to create one seamless narrative full of texture and strange details, such as the time Aurora met Charlie Chaplin at a party. The film is frank about how Aurora was exploited by journalists and a film industry keen to titillate audiences with the story of her ravishment. But humanitarians also used revenue from the film and the memoir to help Armenian orphans and refugees around the world. Perhaps the most remarkable moment comes at the end when the elderly Aurora reflects that she doesn’t want revenge, she just wants those connected to the genocide to be made accountable for it: “sat in the chair” of justice.

 Aurora’s Sunrise is released on 24 November at Bertha Dochouse, London