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Ararat Review

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An 18 yr old man recounts how working on a film about the Armenian genocide has changed his life.

★★★★★

Based in Canada but of Armenian descent, Atom Egoyan is perhaps too close to this sensitive subject to paint a truly coherent canvas. In order to make the past relevant to the present, he revisits the 1915 genocide of the Armenian people by the Turks through several modern-day perspectives: a director making a period drama drawn from the life of painter Arshile Gorky; a writer realising how family history affects her day-to-day life; her teenage son being questioned by an airport customs official while smuggling film footage into America.

Any single strand could have carried a fascinating movie, but tied together they distract the audience from the clarity of the central issue. That said, there are moments here that showcase the best of Egoyan's emotionally condensed style.

World history is a tapestry of personal memories, Egoyan argues, and Ararat itself becomes a means of keeping those lost memories alive.