This remarkable, intricate movie from Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) centers around the making of a film about the genocide of Armenians in Turkey in 1915--but this is not a dry, didactic historical re-enactment. Ararat unspools multiple storylines around Ani (Arsinee Khanjian), an art historian hired as a consultant on the film; her son Raffi (David Alpay); his stepsister, with whom Raffi is in love even though she believes that his mother is responsible for her father's suicide; an actor (Elias Koteas) hired to play the Turkish officer who organized the genocide; and a customs officer (Christopher Plummer), who holds Raffi for questioning under suspicion of smuggling heroin. All these characters, combined with the movie within the movie, intertwine in a complex yet powerfully emotional examination of memory (both cultural and personal), loyalty (to one's family, to one's heritage), creativity, and the subjectivity of truth. --Bret Fetzer

Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Atom Egoyan
Production: Miramax Films
  12 wins & 13 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
R (Restricted)

Were you serious about what you told him?

Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:

That you don't think it happened?

Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
What, the genocide?


Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
Are yuo gnna shoot me or something? Look, I never heard about any of this stuff when I was growing up. You know? I did some research for the part. From what I read there were deportations and lots of people died. Armenians and Turks. It was World War 1.

But Turkey wasn't at war with the Armenians. I mean, just like Germany wasn't at war with the Jews. They were citizens. They were expecting to be protected. That scene you just shot was based on an eyewitness account. Your character Jevdet Bey, the only reason they put him in Van was to carry out the complete extermination of the Armenian population in Van. There were telegrams, there were communicators...

Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
Look I'm not saying that something didn't happen.


Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
Look, I was born here. So were you right?


Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
This is a new country. So let's just drop the f^cking history and get on with it. Noone's gonna wreck your home. Noone's gonna destroy you family. Hmm? So let's go inside and uncork this thing and celebrate. Hmm?

Do you know what Adolf Hitler told his military commanders to convince them that his plan would work? "Who remembers the extermination of the Armenians?"

Ali, actor playing Jevdet Bey:
And nobody did. Nobody does.

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