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for over 21 only -->> Avetik by Don Askarian

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 03:42 PM


35 mm, 1:1.66, 84 min, color. Germany, 1992. Script, Direction, Editing, Art Direction by Don Askarian. Produced by Don Askarian and Margarita Woskanian in co-production with NDR, Germany and FIAF, Armenia with support by Filmburo NW, Germany. Distributed and broadcasted in Germany, Japan, Netherland, Armenia. Prizes: "Special Prize of Int. Filmfest." in Mannheim'92; "Hubert Bals Fund's Support" - Rotterdam'93; "Main Prize for best direction "Fugueira da Foz'93"... by Don Askarian.

"Avetik" was treated as the best film of 1993 by a number of film critics.

Prints in Armenian, German, Italian, Dutch, Japan.

I'll try to express my film with the help of a sentence which is perhaps organized metaphorically: "Tobacco, from which the Camel cigarette has been made that I am just lighting, while thinking about the sentence I have just written, grows out of the cracked scull of my grandfather, who perished in Iszmir. This expresses my film far more strongly than if I said that the film contains the story of an Armenian emigrant in the West (Avetik in Berlin), his reaction to tragic events in his homeland (Chapter 'Earthquake in Armenia'), his reflection on history ('Meeting the king'), the genocide of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 and its effects on Diaspora - Armenians in Berlin ('The conversation between the soothsayer and her brother'), Avetik's childhood memories, his coming to terms with death and love (Chapter 'Nahapet Kuchak'), about film and German racism (Journalist at Avetik's). "The list of contents" as well as the script itself are a pale literary translation of what only the camera is able to create - with the exception of dialogues, naturally.

One day my door bell rang. I opened the door. A jovial young man introduced himself: Otto Namman, Homicide Squad of the Berlin Police. He gave me a black notebook with red corners (made in China). It belonged to an Armenian emigrant N. N., who had recently been murdered in Berlin with seven unusually precise axe blows. It turned out that he had bequeathed his diary to me. After reading it I decided to shoot "Avetik". We hardly knew each other.

Don Askarian

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