This elegiac, semi-autobiographical drama unfolds against the backdrop and legacy of the Caucasus wars of the early 1990s. Told with a dream-like intensity, a young woman returns to her home in a remote, war-ravaged Armenian village to persuade her grandparents to leave with her for safety in Moscow.
Beautifully photographed and composed, and set to a hypnotic soundtrack, this poetic and moving film is in the great visual tradition of Tarkovsky and Paradjanov. An outstanding directorial debut by an immensely talented young filmmaker tragically taken too soon.
“Saakyan's astonishing film captures an emigre's memories of her war-torn Georgian village with aching poetic grace - the imagery lingers like gunsmoke” Empire
“A breathtaking, expressionist chronicle... comparisons with the otherworldly dramas of Andrei Tarkovsky are inevitable […] this is a real lost treasure that's been unearthed with great diligence and passion” David Jenkins, Time Out
“Saakyan's debut is a poetic reverie on memory and homeland, with a hypnotic combination of image and music” Peter Hames, Sight & Sound - Films of the Year 2007
“An incendiary mix of war film, memoir and musical explosion, it was hands-down the debut of the year” S.F. Said, Sight & Sound - Films of the Year 2007
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