REVIEW OF THE FILM "SINGING IN EXILE” BY NATHALIE ROS-SETTI AND TURI FINOCCHIARO
Each history of genocide is an enormous tragedy in itself, but many narratives about these cruel and heinous times are repeated at some point. Tired by clichés, we stop noticing the human dimension, human drama. Only through art, artistic vision we can find humanity in all these, says young Turkish Armenian in the conversation with Aram, the main protagonist of the documentary film "When memory sings".
The latest film by Nathalie Rossetti and Turi Finocchiaro presents the story of two Armenians from Armenian disapora, Aram and Virginia Kerovpyan, musicians who set out on a journey to Anatolia, where the culture of Armenian liturgical songs was born. Jarosław Fred and actors from the Zar Theatre in Wrocław accompany them on this journey. The road of this group leads them to common song, which is the medium preserving the memory of the slain nation, revealing the richness of the annihilated culture and, as Jarosław Fret says, articulating the existence of these who are gone.
"Singing in exile" reveals many stories and theories of Armenian genocide. Protagonists come across people who know the events which happened many years ago very well. We also notice the echoes of these times, watching the scene of laying flowers in the place where Hrant Dink, who wrote about the Armenian genocide on the columns of "Agos," was assassinated. In spite of being historiosophically charged, "Singing in exile" is not a film which tries to make the reckoning, and it does not force a specific way of talking about history, nor does it point its finger at the guilty ones. Art, great passion and sacrifice of Aram and Virginia are in the foreground. What is the role of their singing? What can you express through art, what emotions can you share? These are the fundamental questions which arise during the screening of the film. In this context, "Singing in exile" is an extremely universal documentary film, a praise of art in which, according to the Turkish Armenian mentioned at the beginning, we can find our humanity.
This element of humanity, memory of the entire nation and traces of the past are what the authors of the film are trying to find, too. "Singing in exile" is full of lyrical, poetical landscapes, scenes which - in combination with liturgical singing of the protagonists - create a nostalgic, poignant image. Cinema comes to the aid of Aram and Virginia's art, it has a life-giving force. As long as we create, we can narrate history thorough emotions. Only this kind of art will enable our memory to survive, "Singing in exile" seems to say.