Musicians - Don Askarian (Armenia)
Festival: Like all films made by Don Askarian (Komitas, Avetik and On the Old Roman Road, which is also included in this year's
program) Musicians is rooted in the folk culture of Askarian's home country of Armenia. It is a documentary about a tightrope walker and two folk musicians, all from
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, who earn their money on the street and at parties. The three of them roam the country and visit even the most remote mountain villages. They perform in theatres and expensive restaurants, in churches and houses, for peasants and Mafiosi, for soldiers and rich Americans. They live in hotels or stay with those who invited them to play. They sleep during the day and set off in the evenings, often with the whole family. For three months, the artists were followed by a camera crew on their journey through Armenia. Musicians is not only a portrait of three musicians, but also of all aspects of daily life there, of the culture of which music forms an integral part. For instance we see a party given by the head of a criminal
organization for his friends and a visit to a sick child who is cured by the music. The music is closely related to rituals, to the circle of life, to religion and magic incantations. The musicians' improvisations are like poetic reflections of the Armenian psyche.
De Filmbespreking festivalverslag
International Film Festival Rotterdam 24 Januari-4 February 2001