Armenia And The Cinema Of Independence





When, in the early 20th century, Poet Yeghishe Charents welcomed the frenzied masses and the restless souls, he had in mind the participants in a different moment of explosion, a different uprising, citizens making a different set of demands than those made in 1988 in Yerevan and Stepanakert, and which culminated with the collapse of the USSR in 1991 – and Armenia’s independence. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of independence.

“TO THE RESTLESS SOULS, HELLO HELLO is the first of a series of events by the USC Institute of Armenian Studies marking 25 years of independence. To begin to mark that event, we are paraphrasing Charents, and welcoming you to an afternoon of films, shot over the last 25 years, all of which try to look at that singular historic event and the years of tentative independence that have followed,” said Salpi Ghazarian, director of the Institute. “In the field of Armenian Studies, there is a gap when it comes to research and publications on the modern independent Republic of Armenia’s quarter century of existence. Viewing and discussing film is one small, quick way to begin to address that gap.”

The films will be shown on Sunday, September 20, from 3 to 7 pm at the Laemmle’s Theater in Pasadena. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director of THE ABODE, Lusine Sargsyan.

This event is part of a new Institute program called CINESILK- a seriesfocusing on Armenia, the Caucasus Neighborhood, and their many diasporas through film.

In THE FRENZIED MASSES, Charents glorified the people’s struggle. In these films, there is no glorification.  There is celebration and there is a hard coming to terms with changed circumstances – unpredictable, unknown, yet hopeful.  There is also humor and love.

Directions and parking information:

Guests are advised to park in the Pasadena City lot on the corner of El Molino and Union Ave. There are various other lots in the area, as well as street parking.

Please call 213.821.3943 or email if you have any questions regarding the event, including parking and directions.

About the Institute

Established in 2005, the USC Institute of Armenian Studies supports multidisciplinary scholarship to re-define, explore and study the complex issues that make up the contemporary Armenian experience – from post-Genocide to the developing Republic of Armenia to the evolving Diaspora. The institute encourages research, publications and public service, and benefits from communication technologies that link together the global academic and Armenian communities.


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