Armenian cinema has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 20th century.
Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks throughout its history, Armenian filmmakers have continued to produce movies that showcase their unique culture, history, and identity. Here are some of the best Armenian movies.
Best Armenian Movies
These movies represent a wide range of genres, including drama, comedy, and historical epics, and offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Armenia.
1. The Color of Pomegranates (1969)
“The Color of Pomegranates” is a 1969 Soviet experimental biographical film directed by Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov. The film is a poetic and artistic portrayal of the life of the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova, told through a series of tableaux and images inspired by Armenian art and culture.
The film is renowned for its innovative approach to cinema and its use of rich colors, textures, and symbolism to create a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere. It has been hailed as a masterpiece of world cinema and is considered one of the greatest works of art from the Soviet era.
“The Color of Pomegranates” has inspired generations of filmmakers and artists around the world, and it continues to be celebrated for its beauty, originality, and cultural significance. It has also been a subject of controversy and censorship due to its non-linear narrative and artistic style, which were seen as a challenge to the Soviet authorities’ strict rules for filmmaking.
- Factory sealed DVD
- Sergei Parajanov, Sofiko Chiaureli, Melkon Aleksanyan (Actors)
- Ron Holloway (Director) - Sayat Nova (Writer)
- Spanish (Publication Language)
- Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
2. Army of Crime (2009)
“Army of Crime” is a French drama film directed by Robert Guédiguian, released in 2009. The movie is based on the true story of a group of immigrant resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II.
The film follows the story of Missak Manouchian, an Armenian poet and communist who leads a group of resistance fighters made up of immigrants from various countries who work together to carry out acts of sabotage against the Nazis. As they continue to carry out their operations, they are pursued by the French police and ultimately captured, leading to a dramatic and emotional finale.
One of the central themes of the movie is the idea of sacrifice and heroism in the face of oppression. The resistance fighters are portrayed as individuals who are willing to risk everything, even their own lives, in order to fight against the injustices of the Nazi occupation. The film also explores the experiences of immigrants and minorities during wartime, and the challenges they faced as they fought for their own rights and freedoms. Overall, “Army of Crime” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that tells an important story about courage and resistance in the face of tyranny.
- The Army of Crime (2009) ( L'armée du crime ) ( O stratos ton eglimation ) (Blu-Ray)
- The Army of Crime (2009)
- L'armée du crime
- O stratos ton eglimation
- English (Subtitle)
3. Grandma’s Tattoos (2011)
“Grandma’s Tattoos” is a documentary film from Kyrgyzstan directed by Suzanna Samarkand. The film explores the tradition of face tattoos among Kyrgyz women, which was once a widespread practice but has since declined. Here are a few more details about the film:
The film follows the story of Gulnara, a young Kyrgyz woman who is trying to rediscover her cultural heritage and identity. She sets out to find her grandmother, who has the traditional face tattoos, and learn about the history of the practice.
Through interviews with several women who have the tattoos, the film explores the meaning behind the tattoos and the role they played in Kyrgyz culture. The women discuss the pain they endured to get the tattoos and the social stigma that has been attached to the practice in modern times.
The film also touches on broader themes of cultural preservation and the impact of modernization on traditional practices. It shows how the younger generation in Kyrgyzstan is struggling to balance their heritage with the pressures of modern society.
“Grandma’s Tattoos” has been well-received by audiences and critics alike, winning several awards at film festivals around the world. It offers a unique look into a cultural practice that is not well-known outside of Central Asia, and provides a platform for Kyrgyz women to share their stories and perspectives.
- Rose Ph.D., Kayla Garnet (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 49 Pages - 04/12/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
3. You Don’t Know Jack (2010 TV Movie)
“You Don’t Know Jack” is a 2010 television movie directed by Barry Levinson and starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, the controversial physician who became known as “Dr. Death” for his involvement in assisted suicides. The movie follows Kevorkian’s life and his involvement in several high-profile assisted suicide cases, including the one that eventually led to his imprisonment.
The film received critical acclaim for its sensitive portrayal of a controversial figure and its exploration of the ethical and legal issues surrounding assisted suicide. Al Pacino’s performance was also praised, earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Film or Miniseries.
- Factory sealed DVD
- Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, Danny Huston (Actors)
- Barry Levinson (Director)
- English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
- Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
5. Mother (1992)
“Mother” (Մայր) is a 1992 Armenian drama film directed by the renowned Armenian filmmaker, actor, and artist, Henrik Malyan. The film tells the story of an elderly mother, Armine, who lives alone in her apartment in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Armine is a survivor of the Armenian Genocide and has lived through some of the most tumultuous periods in Armenian history.
As the film progresses, we learn more about Armine’s life and the struggles she has faced. Despite her difficult past and present circumstances, Armine remains strong and determined to live her life with dignity and independence.
“Mother” is a poignant and moving film that explores the themes of family, love, and resilience. It is considered to be one of the most significant Armenian films ever made and has been praised for its masterful storytelling, powerful performances, and beautiful cinematography. The film won the Best Picture award at the 1992 Moscow International Film Festival, and its director, Henrik Malyan, is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in Armenian cinema.
- Domhnall Gleeson, Ed Harris, Javier Bardem (Actors)
- Darren Aronofsky (Director)
- Spanish, Portuguese, French (Subtitles)
- English (Publication Language)
- Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
6. Armenian Genocide (2006 TV Movie)
“Armenian Genocide” is a 2006 television movie directed by French filmmaker Robert Guédiguian. The film depicts the events surrounding the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.
The film is a powerful and emotional portrayal of the atrocities committed against the Armenian people, and it has been praised for its historical accuracy and attention to detail. It features a strong cast of Armenian and French actors, including Simon Abkarian, who portrays the lead character of Nazaret Manoogian, a survivor of the genocide who seeks revenge against the Ottoman officials responsible for the death of his family.
“Armenian Genocide” was made to raise awareness about the genocide and to honor the memory of its victims. It has been screened at film festivals and events around the world and has received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling and moving performances. The film has also been a subject of controversy, as the Turkish government has denied the genocide and criticized the film’s portrayal of the events.
- Andrew Goldberg (Director) - Andrew Goldberg (Producer) - Julianna Margulies, Julianna Margulies...
- English (Subtitle)
- Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
7. Ararat (2002)
“Ararat” is a Canadian historical drama film directed by Atom Egoyan, released in 2002. The movie tells the story of the Armenian Genocide through the lens of a contemporary film crew making a movie about the genocide.
The film explores the complex and controversial history of the Armenian Genocide, which took place during World War I and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians. It follows a young filmmaker, Raffi, who is working on a film about the genocide and struggling to reconcile his own personal history with the larger historical events.
“Ararat” is known for its non-linear narrative structure, which weaves together multiple storylines and time periods, including the making of the film within the film, flashbacks to the events of the genocide, and Raffi’s personal journey of self-discovery. The film also features a strong ensemble cast, including Charles Aznavour, Christopher Plummer, and Arsinee Khanjian.
One of the central themes of “Ararat” is the power of storytelling and the ways in which history is constructed and remembered. The film explores the complexities of representing traumatic historical events on screen, and the challenges of balancing artistic vision with historical accuracy. Overall, “Ararat” is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful film that provides a moving exploration of one of the most tragic events of the 20th century.
- Brent Carver, Bruce Greenwood, Arsinée Khanjian (Actors)
- Atom Egoyan (Director)
- Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
3 Characteristics of Armenian Movies
Here are three characteristics of Armenian movies:
Historical themes: Many Armenian movies explore the country’s rich cultural heritage and history, often drawing from epic poems and historical events.
Emphasis on family and community: Armenian movies often focus on the importance of family and community ties, and the challenges that individuals face in balancing their personal desires with their obligations to their loved ones and their communities.
Social commentary: Armenian movies often address social and political issues, such as corruption, poverty, and inequality, and offer commentary on contemporary Armenian society and its challenges.
3 Reasons To Watch Armenian Movies
Cultural richness: Armenian movies offer a unique insight into the rich cultural heritage of Armenia, exploring themes such as Armenian history, traditions, and values. These films showcase the beauty of Armenian art, music, and language, giving viewers a window into a world that they may not be familiar with.
Quality cinema: Armenian movies have a long history of producing quality cinema. Despite facing numerous challenges over the years, Armenian filmmakers have continued to produce films that have received critical acclaim at international film festivals and have been recognized for their artistic merit and storytelling.
Diversity of genres: Armenian movies cover a wide range of genres, including drama, comedy, historical epics, and documentaries. This diversity allows viewers to explore different aspects of Armenian life and culture and provides a broader perspective on the Armenian experience.
Overall, Armenian movies offer a unique and valuable cinematic experience, providing a glimpse into a rich and vibrant culture and history.
Best Armenian Movies – Wrap Up
These films explore various themes such as Armenian culture, history, and identity. They have received critical acclaim and have been featured in various film festivals around the world.