From Ararat to Zion: An English-language film on Armenians’ role in world history

A documentary premiered in High Definition in Yerevan last night, according to its authors, has a long future before it both in Armenia and well outside.

From Ararat to Zion, a full-length film presenting Armenia as the first Christian nation and telling about the contribution of Armenians to world history, is originally made in English, with the narration by well-known Hollywood actor Aidan Quinn and music by Golden Globe Award winning composer Lisa Gerrard. The film was shot by Vem Media Arts Studio and the sponsor of the show in Yerevan is Armenia’s leading mobile operator VivaCell-MTS.

It took the film crew four years to produce the documentary as scenes were shot in Jerusalem and different parts of the world, presenting the Armenians as the oldest Christian nation, living by Mount Ararat where the human race got a second chance for life according to Old Testament history, and that salvation is now happening on Mount Zion, where there is an Armenian district.

As evidence the film cites ancient mosaics with Armenian letters preserved in Jerusalem, Armenian inscriptions on Mount Zion and other historical facts.

The film uses only foreign sources of historiography, such as Greek, Assyrian, Hebrew and others.

The authors of the film say foreigners know very little about Armenians being the first nation in the world to have adopted Christianity as their state religion. They say within the space of 70 minutes, the duration of the film, viewers will be constantly provided thought-provoking information.

Film director Edgar Baghdasaryan first of all blames Armenians themselves for the fact that little is known about Armenia and Armenians outside.

“We, Armenians, know very little about ourselves. And what can we expect the world to know about us then? If we want to go further, we shouldn’t be shouting about who we were, as it is of interest to no one. The first thing they ask in the modern world today is who you are today, that is, first of all we should ourselves digest our history and then present it to the world,” Baghdasaryan told ArmeniaNow.

Scriptwriter and producer Father Mesrop Aramyan added that the film is a call of sorts on young people to follow the path of their forefathers and become owners of their history.

And VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian said: “Let the nations of the world know that Christianity for our nation is not simply a religion, but a matter of existence, and we have done everything to survive due to our faith, and should continue our existence onward.”

From Ararat to Zion is expected to be shown in Great Britain on May 12. And it has been included in the shows of eight large international film festivals.

It will be on at Moscow Cinema in Yerevan till May 21. Tickets to late afternoon and evening shows (three a day, after 5 pm) are on sale for 1,500 drams (about $4).