Below is the interview with Armin Harutyunyan, author of films “Noah’s Ark Myth”, “The Phenomenon of Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia”, “Western Armenia – Lost Motherland”.
– Tell please how the idea of creating such a film came to your mind, when was it created who are involved in the team?
-The film was shot about 5 years ago. At that time I worked at organization Azd production. Director of the organization wished to shot a film for commerce about Western Armenia and works of shooting the film were done by me. I was 20 then and it seemed to me rather responsible work. But as the Armenian issue and the Western Armenia were already special issues for me I had to put aside professional fears and do what my heart told me. Besides, the staff also gave me extra energy. I am glad that due to the film I have had opportunity to work with Hakob Karanfilyan and due to his work the film became so well known.
– What reactions did you receive from the film? What points of views have you heard by mass media and audience?
– To tell the truth during the works of the film when I just left for travelling and was just writing the screen version and even when I was editing the film I didn’t even hope that film will so much be accepted and loved by the audience. I was just 20 and didn’t think that my work will be accepted and loved and of course, I was glad when I realized that it was a success. I’d like to mention that the film was edited by Artak Krdyan: On the day of the premiere of the film I was informed by the public TV that the rating was incredible though I feel it without any fact. Almost everybody who is asked about the film, answers that liked the film very much. Even sometimes there are ridiculous incidents when I am asked if I have watched the film “Western Armenia – lost motherland“, and even people tell me about the details of the film. I even don’t know if it is ridiculous or sad.
– Who the Armenian audience till now doesn’t know who is the author of the film?
-Well, my friends also ask me the same question. They know very well what work was done by me and what means it for me. Who don’t they know? OK, I will tell you. The thing is that copyright of production and trade of the film belong to the organization “azd production” and I do not work with that organization, but at the same time I am author of 3 film that were done by the time I used to work there. Once we were friends and there was no issue of trusting or not trusting. Now that organization nowhere mentions that that films have author, maybe it is not beneficial for them.. I do not know. The good news is that they write the author’s name on the CDs. In fact, it is done for avoiding additional issues and in possible small corners the name is written. And the films, of course are presented as the organization’s property and product. All this is not so important. The thing is that I am glad that Armenian people liked the film that was of great importance for me. The assurance is that there is not a single day of April 24 when the film was not shown on public TV. This year also is not an exception and 4 parts of the film will be shown from April 22 to 26. Sometimes my friends joke that you are alive representative of Armenian documentary and no one knows… But I think that I also have had an important investment for one of the most important issues of my country.
– What do you think: films about the Armenian Genocide are many and the quality is high. What will be the main idea of a documentary film regarding the Armenian Genocide- death of victims, campaign of revenge, statements of recognition, or other?
– I do not think they are few, I think they are extremely few. And not films regarding the Armenian Genocide, but also the war in Karabakh, Sumgait, Baku, Maragha… To my mind investments should be done towards this and do films, great films that will participate in international festivals and win. And the main issue of such films should be not the suffering, facts about victims, but the fact that how dangerous can be not punishing such crimes for each inhabitant of the world, for a nation. A person is egoist and often is interested in issues that directly refer to him/her or his/her nation. For example, it has been 2 years that Gagik Atasyan’s film “Tekuz” is not approved by the Government though the necessity of such films are now very much. Time runs, generations change and this is very dangerous are human memories have their limits and very often people are not interested in facts and the most reliable method of keeping memories fresh are films that may have their impact on human emotions. I am sure that today the best way of winning the informative wars is the art. I have tried to make the film more emotional and tried to avoid numbers, facts and the most important is touching human hearts. The way from heart to thought is the shortest.
– Do you have any plans for future films on subjects just mentioned by you?
– I think that no, but one day I am going to shot a film on Musa Ler. To my mind that will be the last documentary film till one day I will be ready for a feature film. And feature maybe one day, I still hesitate.