Finally it's evening and it's possible to walk around outside. I felt like in an oven today, grilled alive - 35 degrees and probably more in the sun. It's impossible to keep my normal speed!
Well, that's for the weather news here's something more serious: I've seen so many films during the last 3 days; the Film Festival was a good reason to stay in Yerevan (Golden Apricot International Film Festival Yerevan). Out of the films, two were especially touching, as they gave me a much better understanding of the Armenian history. Both the genocide of Armenian people by the Turkish in 1915 and the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict over a mountains area between Armenia and Azerbaidshan are high-level issues that most people I spoke to mentioned to me. Spending a week so far in this beautiful country really has opened my eyes for some of the issues over here, something that usually feels distant when I am just reading about it. The film called "Screamers" by Carla Garpedian (see link below) focuses on the Armenian genocide from the perspective of the band "System of a Down" whose members are all grandchildren of genocide survivors living in the US. Their mission is to raise awareness of and achieve recognition of the genocides we know of. The Armenian genocide is thereby considered the first genocide in modern times, but of course at that time it wasn't called this way, as the term itself was invented later and until today politicians are reluctant to name a mass slaughter of people by this name as this would require action. So the film focuses on the Armenian genocide but is a human rights statement for all victims of the genocides of the 20th/21st century - trying to explain how genocides happen and how political systems react to them carefully maneuvring their interests. It's a very strong film, especially through the music of System of a Down and the interviews conducted with survivors of the Armenian genocide. In my opinion, the strong focus on the latter makes the film a bit weak regarding genocides, but the message is absolutely touching!
Equally touching was the film called "A story of people in war and peace" by Vardan Hovhannisyan, tracking Armenian people who fought in the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict in the beginning of the 1990s (great footage material). 10 years later the director tries to find the same people and concludes that both in war and peace in this region people struggle, albeit differently. I have to admit that I feel a strong sympathy for the Armenian people, but nevertheless I also feel the need to talk to friends from Turkey and Azerbaidshan to be able to listen to other perspectives as well.
I'll be leaving on a 2-day monastry-mountain trip in the North of Armenia tomorrow with the same successful hitchhiking team as recently Talk to you soon!