Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Armenia: modern day dissidents

Noyan Tapan reports that the documentary Sardarapat by well known and respected Armenian film director Tigran Khzmalyan was taken off the programme to be shown in the Yerevan’s Moscow Cinema, despite preliminary agreement and despite the fact that the film was made by an order of the Ministry of Culture.

Khzmalyan said that he does not understand what is going on in Armenia. "I don't even have the right to show my work to the public. I can't imagine in what times we live." (news item in full – towards the end of this post)

Not surprising considering Khzmalyan’s opposition to the current state of affairs in Armenia in terms of democracy and human rights. He was among very few Armenian cultural workers who during the state of emergency last March signed an open letter to the then Armenia’s prime minister Serj Sargsyan protesting violent dispersion by the government of peaceful demonstrations on 1 March and suggesting practical steps which they believe could defuse current political crisis in Armenia (new parliamentary elections, release of political prisoners…)

Later, in May, speaking at the opposition congress in Yerevan, Tigran Khzmalyan (who did not vote for Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan during February presidential election) reiterated these points.

In a related note, it was emerged today that several well known professionals, among them Khzmalyan, were apparently released of their teaching duties at the Yerevan State University, formally for technical and organisational reasons only. All of the dismissed lecturers are known to be critical to the current Armenian authorities.

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 23, NOYAN TAPAN. (via Groong) The documentary "Sardarapat" of film director Tigran Khzmalian has been taken off the list of films shown in the Moscow Cinema. The film was made by an order of the RA ministry of culture.

It was ready in early May but has not been demonstrated so far. By a preliminary agreement, the documentary was to be shown in the Moscow Cinema on September 27, but four days before its screening the film director was informed that his documentary had been taken off the list of that cinema's films.

T. Khzmalian said during a talk with NT correspondent that he does not understand what is going on in Armenia. "I don't even have the right to show my work to the public. I can't imagine in what times we live."

A 68-minute version of the film was shown at the Narekatsi Center on September 16, but the "May" version is a 38-minute one and has another accentuation. As T. Khzmalian had said at the Narekatsi Center, during the film's shooting he as the scriptwriter discovered some interesting facts and video materials unknown to many. "I was sent sensational facts and video materials from various countries, and all of them occurred and were filmed in 1916-1920. I became acquainted with the documents which were not published due to the political situation in this region. I made an attempt to sum up what happened 90 years ago - now, at the beginning of the 21st century. All that happened at that time was because of feebleness of dull political figures, parties and improvident leaders," T. Khzmalian underlined.

*photo - via Aravot daily


Anonymous said...

This picture might give the answer:

emma said...

Censorship, dissidents, guised persecutions, communists and their regime are back to Armenia. It's impossible not to recall our historiographer "Voghbum em kez hayots ashkhar'.

Haik said...

The Kevorkov cartel is running Armenia.

During the independence days I remember how the Soviet apparatchiks were stealing the government resources. The movement didn’t do anything to stop them because they didn’t want clashes,- we already had a war. When once we saw one of our neighbours swapping the official car licence plates with his private ones. He said, " why are you staring at me like that, we will be back soon".
He knew what he was talking about.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Hey, the pic of Sargsyan in that link to the facism poster is again one of mine. Used with permission and without credit, but I suppose in this case I should probably be grateful there's no acknowledgment. ;-)

Still, again my images get used by everybody from Ter-Petrossian, Zhamanak, Hima, Dashnaks to ArmenPress, local NGOs. One day I might even get commissioned or some of my projects supported seeing as everybody likes my photos so much.

Or then again, more likely the case, maybe not...


Anonymous said...

not very good of you to remind about that pic. I looked at it and now I am depressed even more. I can't help believing Darwin's theory.

Anonymous said...

Haik - R u sure you aren't confusing the Soviet apparatchiks with Levon and his gang of thieves??

It was at that time when the hope for leadership went down the ole toilet.

And to think that this jokers are back??

Onnik Krikorian said...

Funny, I reminded about that pic or the obvious LTP supporter who made the first comment and posted the link did?

Or is this just a hug game in doing things and trying to manipulate the reality when it turns out that once again, the law was broken to produce it?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

They say theft is the highest form of flattery.

artmika said...

Similar case, now with Tigran Paskevichyan's "Expropriation":

Film which they did not want you to see: watch Tigran Paskevichyan’s “Expropriation”

You may read the full script of the documentary Sardarapat on Hetq Online. Also, read Tigran Khzhmalyan's open letter to the director of Hayk film studio in Armenia.

I wish we could watch Sardarapat on YouTube too.

artmika said...

Another banned film - "Opera" by Tigran Khzmalyan. Watch it!

Anonymous said...

funny... Khzmalian 's intention was to produce a film which would be immediately forbidden by local authorites... in order to get the title "diccident".... :-) and get the chance for British citizenship maybe?