Le Voyage en Arménie
Robert Guédiguian :: France :: 2006 :: 2h05
Anna, a tough 40-something cardiologist from Marseille, diagnoses her father’s weak heart as being in need of an operation. Disinterested in his condition, he leaves for his native Armenia. Anna follows suit to try to convince him of action, but, predictably, is won over with an understanding of her hidden origins.
The movie watches like a first visit introductory to Yerevan, Armenia, as the movie takes you around showing you different characters, scenes of this ancient culture now in state of anarchistic neon renovation. It is as if you are Anna, discovering your roots. You get to see a mixture of predictable social class contrasts -which travelers always seem to find fascinating about a foreign country- and a panoply of mob types with body guards, well-willing people, and crooks. The script illustrates the famous hospitality, the ‘I want to leave’, the national pride and so forth.
What was particularly striking, were the characters of Anna and her father which were -perhaps surprisingly- well worked out. Of course the story-line is somewhat thin, but none the less it is sufficient to convincingly take you around. If you overlook some overly simplistic attempts at humor and hastily closed story-lines, you are left which a mini-emotional vacation into Noah’s biblical resting place, the ancient southern Caucasus. We may not all discover our roots amongst these ancient people, but we are now offered a window gaze.