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The Genocide in me:Young Montreal-Armenian's introspection

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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: The Genocide in me:Young Montreal-Armenian's introspection Reply with quote Back to top

02/02/2006 | AZG Armenian Daily #018 | Hakob Tsulikian |


The Armenian Genocide is a persistent wound whose influence on the
third post-genocide Diaspora generation can be traced by watching
Canadian-Armenian Araz Artinian's "The Genocide in Me" documentary. The
film was presented to the Canadian audience last year. Having watched
it recently, I was positively impressed.

The 53-minute film with a proper and impressive soundtrack consists
of 3 main parts that are respectively shot in Montreal, USA and Turkey.

Under the weight of "national contemplation", the twenty-odd young
Armenian born in a foreign land points out: "Everything that happens
to me is connected with the 1915." As many of her peers, she wants
to get deeper in the necessity and importance of preserving national
identity in a foreign environment, to understand what prospects mixed
marriages can have.

"Marriage with foreigners opens doors for assimilation," her grandpa
explains. The girl has heard a lot about the Genocide from her grandpa
and father who was born to the genocide survivors in Cairo.

Later on, while moving to Canada, her father with a meaningful name
of Vrezh-Armen (Vrezh meaning revenge) receives an instruction from
Father Barsegh Ferhadian, headmaster of Mkhitarian School that saw
its closing those days, to "open an Armenian school" wherever he
gets. Vrezh-Armen fulfills Father Ferhadian's instruction and builds
"Surb Hakob" School in Montreal with an intention to bring up the
new generation of Armenians.

Specialized in architecture, he gets actively involved in public life
becoming a prominent intellectual in the Armenian community and heading
Horizon three-language (Armenian-English-French) weekly newspaper.

The young lady, who has been brought up in such atmosphere,
leaves first to the US where she obtains heartbreaking interviews
from Genocide survivors Alice Ter-Barseghian, Hakob Asaturian,
Gevorg Palian, Vardanuysh Poghosian, Vardan Harutyunian and others
and afterwards leaves for Turkey to see for herself, to assess and
understand what had happened. She visits deserted villages, ruined and
defiled churches, listens to stinging and sarcastic words, tries to
befriend a Turkish young man who cynically suggests to forget the past
and begin a new life with him but then she changes and sticks closer
to her national identity as though recalling the words of a Genocide
survivor that a child who has gone through Genocide quits childhood.

Documentary filmmaker, Araz Artinian created the www.twentyvoices.com
website last April as a contribution to the 90th anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide.

DVD of "The Genocide in Me" was made by Information & Twenty Voices

Ian Quenneville and Nathalie Barton are the co-producers of the
documentary; Andrea Henriques is the editor.

The presentation of the film in the US took place at the Kendall
theatre of Cambridge on November 19 where the film director answered
the viewers' questions and autographed the film leaflets.
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