A variety of characters, some close relatives, others distant strangers, are each affected by the making of a film about the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Atom Egoyan's profound reflection on historical memory is an anguished, multi-layered film that contemplates the Turkish massacre and forced deportation of more than a million of its Armenian citizens in 1915, an event still officially denied by Turkey. In examining the lives of a group of contemporary Canadian-Armenians who are making a movie about the catastrophe, it ponders the relation between historical and personal memory and art, and focuses on a canvas by the Armenian painter Arshile Gorky, who survived the massacre. If "Ararat" is the year's most thought-provoking film, its ingeniously convoluted structure tends to box in its characters. — Stephen Holden
2002-11-15 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Ararat