Sunday, 12 October 2008

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

This film tells a story of ordinary people who were deprived of their houses and property rights to make a way for the construction of the Northern Avenue and elite flats in downtown Yerevan. According to the report and various evidence provided, people did not get adequate compensation and the whole process was conducted in breach of Armenian legislation. They tried using legal ways – applying to the courts, but as it’s common in Armenia, no single case was decided by the courts against the authorities. This fact was specifically mentioned in "Expropriation" by Armenia’s human rights Ombudsman Armen Harutyunyan.

Film has been banned from the main Moscow cinema in Yerevan despite an initial agreement to screen it.

As I posted earlier, another Sardarapat film by well known Armenian film director Tigran Khzmalyan suffered the same fate. You may read the full script of the documentary Sardarapat on Hetq Online. I wish we could watch Sardarapat on YouTube too.

Censorship should have no place in Armenia. Censorship should be (and will be) defeated.

Written by Tigran Paskevichyan
Directed by Karen Adamyan
via A1+

Part 1

Part 2


grigor said...

I don't get it artmika. What is bad? The fact that these people suffered or the fact that this guy's movie is banned? You seem to be saying that we should make sure that we don't have censorship in Armenia but you don't talk about the people who actually suffered. So which one comes first, that is really my question.

Look, this whole thing looks kind of fishy to me. I don't know. You call it censorship government might be calling it a national security issue, the fact is the other sides voice isn't represented here. Moreover, it is a movie by Paskevichyan, the guy who wrote this;

It looks to me more like a clash between two evils than a censorship. Unfortunately, we are forced to take sides and start using big words like censorship when we should really be watching it from the side and minding our own business.

Anonymous said...

To Grigor:
I do not know Paskevichyan, but I noticed that he wasn't talking in the movie at all. Of course the movie will be banned as qocharyan was making 'hzor' appearances and remarks. For him, everything is a show... As for the 'other side', the last section of the movie states that they did not agree to tell their opinion. So, to answer to your question, both are important-people suffering and the 'sensorship'. By the way, who are the two evils?

grigor said...

Well, I don't know him personally either but he is from Levon's camp. Ironically, in that article, which I admit I didn't read thoroughly because it was quite bad (I thought), he defends Levon's presidency on the premise that the times were bad. Well, does it mean that if the times are bad then one can ban a movie like his? At any rate that argument doesn't seem to work well in his own situation.

Just to make it clear, I am condemning both the "censorship" and what happened almost 3-4 years ago with the people on Busand street though the story has always seemed strange to me because I personally know people from the neighborhood who happily took the money and left. Having said this, I don't think they had any right to do what they did to these people. This is not the issue here, however.

The issue is that, or at least the way I understand it, is that there is a movie made by a person from Levon's gang that government, or rather Serjik's gang, doesn't want to be shown, and my position is that it is what it is, a fight between two gangs. It is more like, "you did that to us we will do this to you" kind of thing.

Now I am not a journalist and I know about Armenian people mainly through my relatives and friends. Few days ago I was talking to my friend. He is in late 20s, never left the country, doesn't really know what censorship or freedom of speech means, and works something like 10 hours a day to support his family and they are doing sort of ok. I asked him if this ban bothers him and he said that he doesn't even care. I don't know if this is the attitude of all the Armenians or not, but many I know have that kind of position. They don't seem to think that it is their fight that this movie got banned, and if you think about it, then really why should they?

Back to the story, my only objection is the word "censorship" which is the word that seems to connect the story to the people, but does it really? I don't think so, I think if you set the bar as high as that and talk about people like Paskevichyan then you will never have a genuine movement one that people actually feel it is for them. It is a challenge for people who have a way with words to try to connect with the ordinary people and I just think that stories like this one don't make the connection. There is a street fight, a fight for a better education, a fight for a better health care, a fight for jobs and etc that our nation, unlike many western nations, never really fought, and until that fight is fought and won stories like this will just remain far away from ordinary people's interests.

That is what my position is, anonymous.