The Journey (2002)

 

 

 

Directors:     , .

Starring:      Sona Tatoyan (Eve), Varduhi Varderesyan (Eve's Grandmother), Tigran Nersesyan (David), Anoush Stepanyan (Emma), Zenda Tatoyan (Eve's Mother), Roupen Harmandayan (Eve's Dad), Sohrab Bek-Gasparents (Ruben), Hasmik Ter-Hayrapetyan (Arman's Mother), Gayane Mardirosian (Young Eve), Shake Tukhmanyan (David's Mother).

an Armenian-American travels to Armenia to check on its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

Armenia got its independence from the Soviet Union following its collapse.  The attained independence in 1991.  This story is of an Armenian-American woman who tries her hardest to get out of her job as a restaurant waitress in Los Angeles and become a magazine photographer.  She loves taking photographs of people.  She shows her photographs around to different magazines.  The editor at Journey magazine likes the photos so much that she decides to hire Eve to do a photographic journey into Armenia to photograph the Armenians in their struggle for independence.  Eve is extremely excited to get a job in photography and to go visit her homeland.  The first thirteen years of her life were spent in Armenia.  She is not yet twenty-one now.  She speaks English and Armenian fluently.  As a young girl she fell in love with an Armenian boy in Armenia.  She promised to return to him, but then she lost contact by the two youngsters not writing enough to each other.  Now Eve learns that her old boyfriend has died.  She feels very guilty about having lost touch with the boy and she wishes to offer her condolences to his mother in person. 

Eve goes to Armenia to stay with her grandmother.  Grandmother is very happy to see her.  She invites some of their relatives to come over for a big supper.  The relatives sing Armenian songs for Eve, who thoroughly enjoys the evening.  Eve works hard getting photos of demonstrations for Armenian freedom.  While taking photos, she meets a young demonstrator who she becomes friends with.  Her friend introduces Eve to two male friends of hers.  One is her boyfriend and the other is an unattached Armenian fellow named David.   They go out as friends and have fun together.  Eve's friend Emma tells Eve that David has really taken an interest in her.  That makes Eve take a closer look at David.  He is, like Emma, involved in the fight to achieve Armenian independence.

Eve writes to her friends and parents back home.  She tells them that she really loves it in Armenia, but doesn't say that she will stay there or go back to Los Angeles.  Eve meets David's mother, but, for some reason, she does not like Eve.  This doesn't stop David or Eve from becoming even more strongly committed to each other.  Armenia gets its independence while Eve is still in Armenia.  It's time for some big celebrations of the newly independent Armenian nation.

The film ends without telling us Eve's and Dave's plans.  Will they marry?  Will they stay in Armenia?  Dave did say he wanted to go to America.  Will he go with Eve to Los Angeles?  We don't know, because we're not told.  It left my wife and I up in the air feeling incomplete.  Where's the damn ending?  I think they should have told us.  I have heard many stories of Armenians coming to the United States, but not a lot of Americans go to Armenia.  It seems to me if someone wants to  become a famous photographer, her chances would be better in Los Angeles than Armenia.  I don't mean any criticism of Armenia.  It's just that L.A. would provide more opportunities for a photographer compared to Armenia. 

I purchased the film because I thought it would tell me a lot about Armenia, but it doesn't.  You only learn that Armenia became independent in 1991, which is good to know.  But what is Armenia really like? 

 

So I have to look up some basic facts about Armenia in Wikipedia: 

The Republic of Armenia is a mountainous country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. It is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.

The Kingdom of Armenia was established in the 6th century BC, after the fall of Urartu.

Around 600 BC, the Kingdom of Armenia was established under the Orontid Dynasty.   The Kingdom spread from the shore of the Mediterranean Sea northeast to the Caspian Sea. 

Between 95 and 66 BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great, becoming one of the most powerful kingdoms of its time within the region.

It became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its religion.

By the 19th century, Armenia was divided between the Ottoman and Russian empires.

During World War I, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide.

Between 1920 and 1991, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union.

In 1987 ethnic infighting broke out between Armenians and Azerbaijanis living in Karabakh.

In 1991 Armenia got back its independence.

Between 1991 and 1994, the Nagorno-Karabakh War, known as the Artsakh Liberation War in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, took place in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave.  In the process the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh was proclaimed.

Armenians have their own unique alphabet.

Ethnic Armenians make up 97.9% of the population.

Yerevan is the Armenian capital and largest city (and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities).

As of 2011 estimates, the population of Yerevan was 1,121,900.

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

 

 

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