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Ararat. Anna, Emily, Honda, Julie. Outline. Introduction Armenian genocide Atom Egoyan Structure Theme Analysis Characters Parallel—family relation Ani & Raffi Gorky & his mother David & Philip Trauma Personal trauma Historical trauma Retelling history Symbol Conclusion.

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Anna, Emily, Honda, Julie

  • Introduction
    • Armenian genocide
    • Atom Egoyan
    • Structure
    • Theme
  • Analysis
    • Characters
    • Parallel—family relation
      • Ani & Raffi
      • Gorky & his mother
      • David & Philip
    • Trauma
      • Personal trauma
      • Historical trauma
    • Retelling history
    • Symbol
  • Conclusion
  • Armenian genocide (1915-1917 / WWI)

Armenians became the only major Christian

minority and call for independence

 Turks killed millions of Armenians

Historical, cultural and political conditions

led to this tragedy

 Turkey denies the word “genocide” and gives

some excuses


Tragic historical event, Turkey in denial,

people yearning for the truth

 An Armenian director makes a film in

Toronto to represent the tragic history

 From the fictional point of view of a genuine

historical figure, Gorky

 Film named “Ararat” same as the movie

atom egoyan 1960
Atom Egoyan (1960)
  • Atom Egoyan (1960)

 Director of Ararat

 Armenian-Canadian

(Born in Egypt, immigrate to

Victoria, British Columbia )

 Son of Armenian refugees

 Director, writer, editor, and producer

  • Quotation

“You can talk about Holocaust denial, but it's really marginal for the most part. What is compelling about the Armenian genocide, is how it has been forgotten.” -- Atom Egoyan

atom egoyan
Atom Egoyan
  • Experience

 Reject his own ethnicity and reject to learn native

language until college

 Begin to recognize Armenian identity/culture issue

ex. Next of Kin, Calendar, Ararat

  • “Atom”

 He was named “Atom” to mark the completion of

Egypt's first nuclear reactor

 His parents expect him to be like an “atom” to influence people


 Framed as scenes

 Film-within-the-film

  • Theme

 Historical trauma

 Family relation

  • Ani

 An art historian and expert on Gorky

 Adviser on Saroyan's fictional film

 Raffi’s mother

  • Raffi

 Interrogated by Canada custom

when he back from Turkey

  • Celia

 Raffi’s step-sister / crazy girlfriend

 who believes that Ani kills her father

Edward Saroyan

 Director of the Ararat

in the film-within-the-film

 His mother died in genocide

  • Gorky

 Armenian refugee

 painter / boy in the painting


 Turkish-Canadian actor

 Playing an

evil Turkish military officer

in Saroyan's film.

  • David

 Canadian customs officer

 Interrogated Raffi

 whose son (Philip) is having a

homosexual relationship with Ali

ani raffi 1
Ani & Raffi (1)
  • The poem (foreshadowing)
    • Different interpretation between Ani & Raffi.
      • The girl is crazy/angry.
    • A voyage of seeking passion.
    • Taken out the heart, her mother says
      • “my poor boy, did you hurt yourself.”
ani raffi 2
Ani & Raffi (2)
  • Raffi tries to find his origin (a voyage.)
    • Through parents
    • Making film for both Ani and himself.
      • Origin of what?
        • Painting – sketch – photograph – art work.
    • media
      • Through camera and art work.
    • The representation ofthe origin.
      • A connection with the past.
      • From history to the present.
gorky his mother
Gorky & his mother
  • Where Ani and Raffi’s relation extend
    • Ani was projected that Raffi would leave her
      • Projection not necessarily would cause confusion.
  • Gorky
    • Develops sentiments through the process of drawing.
      • A connection with the past.
      • Repetition
        • Pencil -> oil -> erase.
david philip 1
David & Philip (1)
  • As a Customs officer. (Value system)
    • Superintend Subjects simply as figures.
        • Pomegranate (film-maker.)
    • Value system
      • Could understand what is tangible, but not feeling.
david philip 2







David & Philip (2)
  • The issue brought by “Amen.”
    • Religion, gender, and race.
      • Christianity.
      • Homosexual.
david philip 3






David & Philip (3)
  • Raffi telling David his story.
    • Through Words, tapes, journal.
  • David buys it
    • Let him go, without punishment.
    • Reminds him of Philip.
  • Develops tolerance
    • Cans of film=heroin.
    • Issue between Philip and him.
      • Gender, religion.


The wound only speaks when we look back

freudian psychoanalytic theory
Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Defense mechanisms

-The purpose of the Ego Defense Mechanisms is to protect the mind/self/ego from anxiety, social sanctions or to provide a refuge from a situation with which one cannot currently cope.

traumatized characters celia gorky
Traumatized Characters: Celia & Gorky
  • Celia - death of her father

 “yours [father] died like a hero, mine

died in a stupid accident, according to

her [Ani]”

 blaming Ani: during the lecture,

displacement of her trauma “he

needed to destroyed what he made”



 refusing to believe Ani’s explanation(1:16:10)

Ani: “Listen, I didn’t see him fall…”

 intention to destroy the painting:



- survivor, witness of the war

- the image of mother’s hands (18:00/22:40)

- being silent, only communicate with the painting

- wiping off his mother’s hands with his hands: from brush to hands (16:52/1:25:40)

- unfinished hands: opened wound

- the usage of oil paint: repetition compulsion

historical trauma traumatized armenian people
Historical Trauma: Traumatized Armenian People
  • Women being raped

- little girl underneath her mother, holding hand in hand

  • German woman (1:23:17)

 Disgrace of humanity: the war not only kills people but also kills human dignity

retelling history

Retelling History

“finding a way to articulate history, identifying what it means to you and what it might mean to others”

film within the film
Film within the film
  • Representation of history/past
    • Clarence Ussher ‘s journal
    • The brutal scenes
  • Gorky in the film
    • a cruel joke
    • a constructed image
  • Ararat/Van
    • poetic license or distortion
  • Authority
    • the camera and the set
raffi and the film
Raffi and the film
  • initiation to find his origin
  • connection with the past

 to understand his position/cultural identity

Questioning History
    • Twisted, modified
    • Subjective history
      • Ali vs. Raffi and Saroyan
      • Terrorist or freedom fighter (Raffi’s father)

” Every true history is contemporary history”

  • Interpretation
    • The flower on Gorky’s painting
      • A fragrant gift to his absent father
      • Cover the lost bottom
Pomegranate—cultural father
    • Relate to his mother/Armenia
  • Cans

 emotional items

 meaningless objects (state apparatus)

  • Mt. Ararat
    • National and religious identity
Unfinished hands — open wound
  • Hands
    • Mother’s touch
    • unity
  • Button

 symbolizes “wound”

  • Sewing button

 Stitch parts and facts together

 Healing wound

  • Did genocide really happen?

Armenians Claims:

 Ottoman Empire committed genocide to the Armenian

people, they called it the Armenian Genocide

  • What about Turkey’s stands?

Turkey Claims:

 Deny the word “genocide”

 During World War I, many Armenians died, but Turks died as well

 Inter-ethnic violence and the wider conflict of World War I