|Films - On the Old Roman Road||
Intentions Credits Script Stills (in Flash)
Sale and distribution
Levon remembers his childhood in
Turkey: love, political brutality.
(From my letter to the commissioning
editor of the film, Mr. Joachim von Mengershausen, WDR).
" ... Do you remember the changes,
new episodes and new story-telling structure, which I wanted to bring
into the film?
In order to change the dramatic-external
balance of the film into the real, alive, exciting harmony. For it, I
need the story about the old rich Armenian, who organized strange
receptions and vanguard music-evenings in his house, with sweating
soloist, who bites his instrument with the gamble, with the famous
Polish film director (pan Vaida, on his shoulder the old and somewhat
disturbed servants, also a Pole, before excitement the whole tray with
filled wine glasses pours out - with the words "Porsche
Pan"(please, mister) and the owner of the house himself, that his
toy-bombs, the flying sheet metal-butterfly and jumped frog on his
guests lets go, then, as he has them enough. Sweet and with the
electronic full little animals call by the guests a delight forth, and
then horror and fright, as it incredibly loud and with much smoke
exploded and we see the cello hover, very slowly and quietly singing
through the area and in the panic fleeing guests...
Also Vano, carpet-seller, will receive his second, secret life, as light-footed dead-angel for the Turkish politician, as charming terrorist, as loner and successful lover. He prepared the "liquidation" of the Turkish consuls in Rotterdam, and executed them. He lures him with the picture of the Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid The Bloody, which he has bought in the auction house “Leo Jansen “. Secret connections consist between Vano and the old man of uptown Rotterdam, who presumably finances this terror-attack. Also the Kurdish topic in the film must become reinforced. So much pain and so much injustice at Kurds! A short, strong documentary will originate over the people, who burn, who set themselves to fire. Dancing fire. Fire-human beings. Indifference and complicity of the politics. The face of Ocalan, fully injected with medications, doesn't leave my memory. I would like to shoot the Dutch part of the film in 35 mm, in order to sense the difference between present and past also in picture-quality." Don Askarian
The Harvard Film Archive about the film
Askarian’s most recent project is another meditation on the artist in exile. Like the filmmaker Avetik and the real-life composer Komitas from his previous films, Levon--a writer of Armenian extraction now living in Rotterdam - is caught between memories of homeland and the realities of contemporary life. From his Dutch domicile, Levon reminisces about his brother-in-law (a hairdresser who robs dead Turks), a brilliant Kurdish musician, a red-bearded executioner, a seventeen-year-old girl with chestnut-colored skin, and a Turkish Apollo with eight wives who likes to bury himself in hot ash. His memory is also populated by beautiful thoroughbred horses, stray dogs, camel drivers, soldiers, and Turkish policemen. These poetic, almost surrealist scenes of magic love and political cruelty are contrasted with the reality of present day Rotterdam, presented in the guise of a modern crime story with Armenian terrorists and a Kurdish tragedy.
Taos Talking Picture Festival
"We are delighted that you have accepted our invitation to screen ON THE OLD ROMAN ROAD at the 2002 Taos Talking Picture Festival, April 11 - 14. Every year, we look at thousands of films and when one shines above the rest, as ON THE OLD ROMAN ROAD did, it is indeed a pleasure. Don Askarian, recently honored with a Harvard Film Archive retrospective, is considered the greatest living Armenian filmmaker. In Askarian's latest film, which he describes as “a bloody comedy,” a man in exile remembers a childhood of magic and mayhem, complete with grave robbers, brutal assassinations, horses, and men buried in hot ash. As striking a visual feast as one can find, this is an extravagant and crystalline treasure, a film whose rewards far outweigh its considerable demands".
Script writer, director, editor, art
of art director
Computer operating & editing
Peit van Dijk
Levon as boy
Successor of Armenian king
Pigeoner & plunderer of the dead Moslems
| The wife
Husband of Sylvia
|Copyright by Don Film, 2001|