BY CATHERINE YESAYAN
As the Armenian community of Los Angeles was preparing to commemorate the hundred first anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the well-known French/Armenian film director Robert Guédiguian was in Hollywood on Friday, April 22, for the screening of his movie at the Colcoa French Film Festival.
Although there were several events around town that day in remembrance of the Genocide, I managed to attend the screening of Guedigian’s movie, Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad. This was the second time I had seen the movie. The first time was at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in Yerevan last year.
The film begins with a black and white preface, in 1921 Berlin: there, in broad daylight, Soghomon Tehlirian assassinates Talaat Pasha, one of the architects of the Armenian Genocide. He carries out his revenge for Talaat’s role in the mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians. Tehlirian is acquitted in a German court.
Then the movie moves forward three generations to the 1970s, focusing on an Armenian family living in Marseilles, France. The man of the family, Hovannes and his wife, Anoush, own an Armenian grocery store connected to their living quarters. The scene at Hovannes’s home opens with the grandmother singing a familiar tune in Armenian to her granddaughter, then telling her about the heroic act of Soghomon Tehlirian. The great backdrop of this scene melted my heart again the second time watching the movie.At that moment, the father enters the room and hears the conversation. He scolds his mother-in-law for telling his child unnecessary information that belongs to the past. In another scene Aram, Hovannes’s son listens to his grandmother’s hateful stories of what happened to her people: “If you become a captain, fill the ship with explosives and sail it straight into the port of Istanbul,” she tells him.
As their family life is shown, we learn that Aram, is secretly involved in an Armenian underground organization planning the assassination of the Turkish ambassador in Paris. The movie turns into a thriller when the group is shown reviewing the details of how to murder the ambassador. The plot is rehearsed many times. Aram is in charge of pushing the remote control button to set off the bomb, which would be planted in front of the ambassador’s limousine.
At a tantalizing moment, when Aram is in front of the window, across from the Turkish embassy, watching the Ambassador leave the embassy, and when he is about to push the button, we see a random cyclist pulls up behind the limousine. A few decisive seconds go by, but Aram makes the choice to set off the bomb. As I’m writing this, I still get goosebumps all over again, for the cinematography of the scene that was so very well done.The young cyclist, Gilles, is seriously injured and loses the use of his legs. Aram flees France and joins the Armenian Liberation Army in Lebanon. Aram’s mother, realizing that her son is the murderer, decides to meet with Gilles at the hospital and beg for his forgiveness.
By the time the film ends, Gilles has become a friend of the family. Anush and Gilles plan a trip to Beirut to meet Aram. In the mean time, Aram clashes with his comrades in Lebanon over accepting to meet his victim. Aram meets his mom and Gilles and is about to return to the camp when a confederate friend guns him down.
The screenplay is adapted from an autobiographical novel by the Spanish journalist Jose Antonio Gurriaran, who was semi-paralyzed in a bomb blast by the Armenian Secret Army (ASALA) in Madrid 1981. After his injury, Gurriaran studies about the history and crimes of the Ottoman Empire in their efforts to exterminate the Armenians. As a result of his research he becomes an activist for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In the compelling and in the mean time emotional movie, Guedigian tries to spell out many things. He brings about the ripple effects and the lasting impact of the Armenian genocide and the bitter injustice that has passed from survivors to their descendants. Another complex moral discussion Guédiguian conveys is his disillusionment over the wave of militant attacks in Europe in the 1980s.
Both times that I watched the movie, I was overcome with emotion and tearful from start to end.
This mode enables people with epilepsy to use the website safely by eliminating the risk of seizures that result from flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
Visually Impaired Mode
Improves website's visuals
This mode adjusts the website for the convenience of users with visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.
Cognitive Disability Mode
Helps to focus on specific content
This mode provides different assistive options to help users with cognitive impairments such as Dyslexia, Autism, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements of the website more easily.
ADHD Friendly Mode
Reduces distractions and improve focus
This mode helps users with ADHD and Neurodevelopmental disorders to read, browse, and focus on the main website elements more easily while significantly reducing distractions.
Allows using the site with your screen-reader
This mode configures the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is software for blind users that is installed on a computer and smartphone, and websites must be compatible with it.
Visually Pleasing Experience
Adjust Text Colors
Adjust Title Colors
Adjust Background Colors
Big Dark Cursor
Big Light Cursor
August 28, 2022
We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone, and are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience,
regardless of circumstance and ability.
To fulfill this, we aim to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level.
These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible
to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific
disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
Additionally, the website utilizes an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML,
adapts Its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by the blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
If you’ve found a malfunction or have ideas for improvement, we’ll be happy to hear from you. You can reach out to the website’s operators by using the following email
Screen-reader and keyboard navigation
Our website implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various different behavioral changes, to ensure blind users visiting with
screen-readers are able to read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters your site, they immediately receive
a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate your site effectively. Here’s how our website covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements,
alongside console screenshots of code examples:
Screen-reader optimization: we run a background process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website.
In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels;
descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups),
and others. Additionally, the background process scans all of the website’s images and provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag
for images that are not described. It will also extract texts that are embedded within the image, using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology.
To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on
as soon as they enter the website.
These adjustments are compatible with all popular screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA.
Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Disability profiles supported in our website
Epilepsy Safe Mode: this profile enables people with epilepsy to use the website safely by eliminating the risk of seizures that result from flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
Visually Impaired Mode: this mode adjusts the website for the convenience of users with visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.
Cognitive Disability Mode: this mode provides different assistive options to help users with cognitive impairments such as Dyslexia, Autism, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements of the website more easily.
ADHD Friendly Mode: this mode helps users with ADHD and Neurodevelopmental disorders to read, browse, and focus on the main website elements more easily while significantly reducing distractions.
Blindness Mode: this mode configures the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is software for blind users that is installed on a computer and smartphone, and websites must be compatible with it.
Keyboard Navigation Profile (Motor-Impaired): this profile enables motor-impaired persons to operate the website using the keyboard Tab, Shift+Tab, and the Enter keys. Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Additional UI, design, and readability adjustments
Font adjustments – users, can increase and decrease its size, change its family (type), adjust the spacing, alignment, line height, and more.
Color adjustments – users can select various color contrast profiles such as light, dark, inverted, and monochrome. Additionally, users can swap color schemes of titles, texts, and backgrounds, with over 7 different coloring options.
Animations – epileptic users can stop all running animations with the click of a button. Animations controlled by the interface include videos, GIFs, and CSS flashing transitions.
Content highlighting – users can choose to emphasize important elements such as links and titles. They can also choose to highlight focused or hovered elements only.
Audio muting – users with hearing devices may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing. This option lets users mute the entire website instantly.
Cognitive disorders – we utilize a search engine that is linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allowing people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, slang, and others.
Additional functions – we provide users the option to change cursor color and size, use a printing mode, enable a virtual keyboard, and many other functions.
Browser and assistive technology compatibility
We aim to support the widest array of browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major systems that comprise over 95% of the user market share including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge, JAWS and NVDA (screen readers), both for Windows and for MAC users.
Notes, comments, and feedback
Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the website to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. Still, we are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating and improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements. For any assistance, please reach out to