70 min

In development



Directing: Tamara Stepanyan


Armenian cinema is intertwined with the history of the Soviet empire. It began in 1923 with “Namus”(The Honor) and ended in 1989 with the filming of “Karot” (Nostalgia). After ten years of vacancy, the Armenian independent cinema was reborn from its ashes around 2000.
With this film, I wish to return to this 70-year period which held up to the spectators an ambiguous mirror, subjected to propaganda while escaping it, animated by anxieties and aspirations of its own. This history of cinema built me as a child, it fed my imagination.
This film is a sentimental and political history of 20th century Armenian cinema. Sentimental, because I see the landscape of my childhood; political, because I find. the history of the Armenian people.
This film is a personal journey, a personal way of talking about Armenian cinema, a questioning in front of a cinema that no longer exists, a voyage through the images and the memory they carry.
This film does not focus on a few emblematic films, but on the traces they left behind. How are their memories visible in modern Armenian cinema - including my own films? How are they still alive? Because they are not just pure propaganda products, they are part of the history of a nation.
In 2006, when my grandmother Tamara died, I met her friends with whom she fought in World War II and with whom she shared the communist ideal. Tamara and her friends celebrated Victory Day every year on May 9. As a child, I was fascinated by their songs and speeches. I made a film about them, Embers, in which I collect the last memories of men and women who fought for a cause, a lost ideology, the last Mohicans of a vanished time. At the heart of the film is the feeling of loss of a time of which there remains a set of shadows.
For me, Armenia Phantom is a kind of extension of Embers, the two films form a kind of diptych that completes each other.
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