One of the most original voices in world cinema, Canadian writer/ director Atom Egoyan (FAMILY VIEWING, EXOTICA, THE SWEET HEREAFTER) returns with ARARAT, a deeply personal exploration of the mores and attitudes surrounding the Armenian genocide. In Egoyan's compelling style, ARARAT spans generations in a tableau of stories and characters, tackling the horror of this atrocity as a cultural residue across 85 years of history.
Firmly rooted in present-day Toronto, ARARAT presents a film-within-a-film, which is an adaptation of an actual non-fiction book-Clarence Ussher's An American Physician in Turkey-focusing on the 1915 Siege of Van, an Armenian community in Eastern Turkey.
Art history professor and author Ani (stunningly played by Egoyan's wife Arsinee Khanjian), already dealing with her Armenian heritage on a number of fronts, is brought in as a consultant on the film. Months later, Ani's son Raffi is interrogated about the contents of several canisters of exposed film he's bringing into Canada from Turkey, which he claims are background shots for the epic. The questioning by soon-to-retire customs officer David (Christopher Plummer) turns from the routine and personal lo the political and historical, as Raffi's alibi deepens David's awareness of the Armenian holocaust.
A richly textured and revealing portrait of how we are never separated from the history that defines us, ARARAT addresses this historical tragedy with deep, unflinching intensity while generating ever more questions.