35 mm, 1:1.66, 96 min, color and b/w,
Script and Direction by Don Askarian.
Produced by Don Askarian and Margarita
Woskanian with WDR, SFB, Channel Four, RTBF, RTSR, FFA, FKT, K.j.d.F., Alex
Manugian Cultural Fund. Distributed and broadcasted in Germany, Japan, France,
England, Belgic, Netherlands, Greece, Armenia, Switzerland.
Prizes: Interfilm-Jury-Price -
Max-Ophuls-Price Fest.'89; 6 Gold-Medals - Film Festival
Venice '88; Prizewinner at Riga Film Festival '90.
Prints in English, German,
French, Italian, Dutch and Japan.
© by Don Askarian.
Sale and distribution by Don Film,
The film is dedicated to the
Armenian monk and genius composer Komitas, and the 2 million victims on his
people in Turkey in 1915.
The final 20 years of Komitas life were spent in various mental hospitals.
The destiny of Komitas? This is the magic beauty of Armenian culture and the
abhorrent brutality of Armenian history.
A cultural and artistic world that was slaughtered with a curved knife.
A humanity that doggedly advances towards an apocalyptic catastrophe, that
does not recognize its own original purpose, eradicates its own memory, its
DON ASKARIAN ON HIS FILM
Guided by pain, l extend my hand and it thrusts against them. The souls of
2 million murdered circle over your and my head, over Ararat...
Tobacco, from which the "Camel" cigarette has been made, that l am
just lighting, reflecting on written phrases,
grow out of the cracked skull of my grandfather, who perished in Erzurum.
On October 10,1984, l sat in the kitchen of our apartment in Berlin, opposite
me, on the electrical fuse box, stood the angel and looked at me through the leaves
of a philodendron plant,
l raised my head and it was no longer there.
Then they both appeared.
The Harvard Film Archive about the film
The monk Soghomon Soghomonian, known as Komitas, was a renowned Armenian composer and
conductor who became a symbol of Armenian cultural unity through his
orchestral and choral performances and his late nineteenth-century
travels throughout the countryside, in which he collected peasant songs
for generations eager to preserve their cultural heritage. In 1915,
however, the musician’s career ended abruptly after a nervous breakdown
precipitated by the Ottoman Empire’s devastation of an estimated
three-fourths of the country’s population. Wracked with pain and
subjected to the abuses of nineteenth-century psychiatric hospitals,
Komitas lost his mind and withdrew into his own world of tortured
memories for more than twenty years. Director Askarian dedicates his
beautifully constructed, ambitious, and impressionistic portrait of
Komitas to those who lost their lives.
Rev. Yegishe Mangikian
Rev. Gegham Khatcherian
Eskander Abadii, F. Teyra
Script writer, director
Armenian Folk Music
Joachim von Mengershausen
Lothar Kompatzki, Rod Stoneman