“About Him or How He Did Not Fear the Bear,” a film centered on a Russian soldier who kills an Armenian family in Gyumri, is set to premier at Leammle Glendale. Produced and directed by Armenian filmmakers Nariné Mkrtchyan and Arsen Azatyan, the film will be screened on February 14 at Laemmle Glendale, located at 207 N Maryland Ave, Glendale, CA 91206.
How does society react to a pointless attack, to violence without any clear motive? The community in the Armenian city of Gyumri faces this conundrum when a Russian soldier kills seven members of a family. Nariné Mkrtchyan and Arsen Azatyan use footage of the real protests following the slaughter but fictionalize the actual event. Their soldier is called Ivan, just like the fool from Russian folklore, who they have interwoven into their narrative in a children’s show.
The film focuses on the aftermath of the drama, with the characters symbolizing the contradictory reactions evoked by events. The soldier is arrested, but war veterans Vahan and Sargis demand retribution and will do this themselves if necessary. The priest Avetis, however, calls on the people to keep calm and patient, while Vahan’s young wife Ani is very concerned. They each seek in their own way to recover the dignity taken from them.
The World Premiere of “About Him” took place in January 2019 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film was also featured in the 2019 Uruguaya International Film Festival, the 2019 Eurasian Bridge Yalta International Film Festival, and the 2019 Hainan Island International Film Festival.
Tickets for “About Him or How He Did Not Fear the Bear” will go on sale no later than Tuesday, Feb 11 at 7 p.m.
Nariné Mkrtchyan and Arsen Azatyan were both born the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. They studied film directing at the Faculty of Culture at Yerevan Pedagogical University. Since their graduation in 1981, they have cooperated as filmmakers, first with the state studio Armenfilm and, since 1990, their own company Aysor-Plus Film Productions – the first independent production company following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Their films participated in several international film festivals, including Berlin, Locarno, and Rotterdam. Their feature filmography includes features “The Return of the Prodigal Son” (2008), “The Glass Trinket” (2013).