BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in April 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

17 April 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
shropshireshropshire

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Shropshire
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Shropshire

Birmingham
Black Country
Hereford & Worcester
Stoke

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

15 Ararat (2003)

updated 11th March 2003
reviewer's rating
Three Stars
Reviewed by Tom Dawson
User Rating 4 out of 5


Director
Atom Egoyan
Writer
Atom Egoyan
Stars
David Alpay
Arsinée Khanjian
Marie-Josée Croze
Charles Aznavour
Christopher Plummer
Eric Bogosian
Length
115 minutes
Distributor
Momentum
Cinema
18th April 2003
Country
Canada/France
Genres
Drama
World Cinema
Web Links
Atom Egoyan interview

Visit the official site


In 1915, the Turks deported and massacred nearly a million Armenians, a genocide which has never been admitted by the Turkish authorities. It's this often-overlooked holocaust, and its impact on generations of Armenians, which inspired Atom Egoyan's labyrinthine "Ararat".

The Canadian-Armenian director ("The Sweet Hereafter", "Felicia's Journey") explores how cinema should represent an event of such appalling carnage. How, for example, should a filmmaker reenact historical atrocities for a contemporary audience? To what extent can one tamper with the facts to convey a broader "truth" about the period?

"Ararat" explicitly views the past from the perspective of the present, using the device of a film-within-a-film. Director (Charles Aznavour) and screenwriter (Eric Bogosian), both from Armenian descent, are shooting a historical drama in present-day Toronto, based on an American eye-witness account of the siege of Van.

Acting as a consultant on this reenactment is an art-historian (Arsinée Khanjian) specialising in the painter Gorky. However, she is struggling to deal with her own personal traumas: she has lost two husbands, and her son Raffi (David Alpay) is having an affair with her step-daughter (Marie-Josée Croze).

Several months later Raffi is detained at the airport by a customs official (Christopher Plummer), who's confused by his own son's gay relationship with an actor (Elias Koteas) from the film.

Aided by Paul Sarossy's assured cinematography, Egoyan moves fluently between his various time frames and the assorted locations. That said, there's a nagging sense of dramatic contrivance to these interlocking (and in some cases incestuous) relationships. Just how many guilty secrets can one cast bear? And too many of the characterisations appear schematically drawn, with the actors saddled with lengthy speeches that articulate the film's themes

There's no doubting that this is a highly ambitious and personal project for Egoyan, but it's also one that, next to his best work, feels clumsy and convoluted.



Find out more about "Ararat" at
Movie Review Query Engine
The Internet Movie Database


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

line
Top| Films Index | Home
 


  BOLLYWOOD
BBC Shropshire Bollywood news, reviews and galleries
Red bullet point Bollywood film galleries
  FILM SEARCH
BBC Shropshire film search
Red bullet point What to see in Shropshire
  UK TOP FILMS
BBC Shropshire guide to top ten films to watch this month
Red bullet point What to watch this month
  FILM VAULT
BBC Shropshire film vault
Red bullet point Packed full of film reviews



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy