Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient
CHARENTS: In Search of my Armenian Poet
Fort Greene Filmworks

CHARENTS: In Search of my Armenian Poet

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By Shareen Anderson

Charents: In Search Of My Armenian Poet explores the life and work of one of Armenia’s best-loved poets, Eghishe Charents, who was tragically killed in a Stalinist prison in 1937 under mysterious circumstances.

Who was this man, this poet? If you ask anyone today, without hesitation, they would say Charents was the poet of the people. A man who lived through his country’s tumultuous history; witnessing a brutal genocide against his people, experiencing the loss of Armenia’s historic homeland and the despair and hunger that followed. He later participated in a calamitous civil war and a revolution that brought a new hope, only to be superseded by the gloom and terror of the Stalinist years. More than just a victim of the times, Charents became a martyr to his people and many consider him to be the father of modern Armenian literature.

This literary travelogue takes viewers on a journey from Armenia to the poet’s birthplace in Kars, Turkey, with Grikor Babakhanyan – a poet in his own right. Grikor, together with his friend and historian Volodya Arushanyan, sets off to discover Charents’ childhood home in Kars. Traveling through Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey, they make new acquaintances who share their enthusiasm for Charents’ poetry. Along their path, the inimitable beauty of the Transcaucasian mountainous landscape is revealed.

Weaving in between Grikor’s journey to the poet’s birthplace are stylized readings of Charents’ poems and interviews with experts and ordinary people, creating a fascinating narrative of the poet’s life and works.  (98 minutes)

Fort Greene Filmworks (2009)