Monday, 26 July 2010
Freedom in Armenian
I'm glad I stayed up last night to watch this TV film, called "Azad", which is "freedom" in Armenian. It was quite wonderful. I had never seen a TV film which was partly in "bande dessinee", or BD (graphic novel style, hugely popular in France) but also a human drama. Too much to hope that it could be shown in the anglophone world I suppose. The second largest Armenian diaspora in the world, after California, is in France, so not surprising such a talent and a theme should emerge here. It is based on the memories of the author's grandfather, who fled the Turkish genocide of Armenians. The hero, a young French graphic novel artist of Armenian descent, finds himself sharing a flat with a young woman of Kurdish descent, who fails to persuade him that her people were at least as oppressed by the Turks as his were. And both were born in France, speak no language but French, and are not comfortable with confronting the history of their respective families' flight to France. I found it both beautfiul - the episodes done as BD are stunning and it was partly filmed in Armenia, a country I have been to five times and have a great longing for - subtle and deeply affecting. Well, those who do not watch French TV will not be able to see it, and France 2 has it well firewalled. But please, some scheduler somewhere, put this on a channel UK viewers can watch, with subtitles. You will not be sorry.