The best Armenian movies. 12 Old and New films you must watch
Armenian culture is as old and unique as its history. And one of the wealthiest branches of our culture is our cinematography.
Armenian films are the mirrors of our history, favorite traditions, famous and historical events as well as mentality. Our films present a great variety of genres: such as comedies, romance, drama, tragic, epics, musicals adventure and war.
“Hayfilm” company was producing such qualified and interesting films during Soviet times, that the new generation still watches these old films with great enthusiasm. In this article, I will present the old and new best films that are worth watching to have a profound idea about the rich and unrepeatable history of Armenian people.
Old Armenian films
Best Armenian movie #1 Gikor
Directed by Sergey Israyelyan in 1952, this drama tells us a sorrowful story about a 12 years old boy named Gikor. His father, Hambo wants to take him a neighboring country to make him a “person,” without knowing what severe days expect to his child. Though, Gikor`s mother, Nani begs Hambo not to take her little child. Unfortunately, the father’s decision was final.
Here begin the tortures of the inexperienced boy. In Tiflis, Gikor must be work for a cruel trader, named Bazaz Artem who every day and night exploits a pure child and pays only coins and sometimes even doesn’t pay. And the trader’s wife always makes the little boy cry.
The main actors of drama “Gikor” are Albert Gulinyan as Gikor, Sos Sargsyan as Hambo, Galya Novents as Nani and Armen Dzhigarkhanyan as Bazaz Artem. These talented actors act in such a natural and real way, and the heartbreaking scenes are so touching that will surely make you cry.
Best Armenian movie #2 The tango of our childhood
The importance of the solidarity and maintenance of the family has always been vital for the Armenians․ “The tango of our childhood” introduces a story about an Armenian family. Ruben, the father of the family, walks out on his wife and has a love affair with another woman․ He leaves his children and wife and goes to live with that woman.
Though the children get into new trouble every day and it becomes tough for the wife, Siranush to bring up the children alone. She needed the warmth of her husband. She goes against her principles and makes some serious attempts to bring her husband back.
The film is unique and meaningful. It worth watching. One of the greatest actor Mher Mkrtchyan is the leading actor. And his wife Galya Novents as a Siranush. The artistic talents of these people are so big that we will always remember their prominent names. Albert Mkrtchyan directed the film in 1985.
Best Armenian movie #3 The men
Another masterpiece of our films is “the Men’’, which presents the friendliness and devotion of Armenian people. The plot is so compelling that will make you fall in love with the film. “There are four friends, Vazgen, Sako, Aram, and Suren.
They work as taxi drivers in Yerevan. Aram, the most charming and shy of them, falls in love with a sweet girl named Karine. The lady, however, has no idea who Aram is and doesn’t even pays attention to him, which makes Aram suffer.
Seeing the friend's sufferings, three friends decide to do their best that the beautiful lady notice and pay attention to their friend Aram. Edmond Keosayan directed the film in 1972. Here also one of the actors is prominent Mher Mkrtchyan as Suren.
The role of Aram was playing Avetik Gevorgyan, and the beautiful lady Karine was talented Alla Tumanian. “The men’’ was loved by the audience and as an honor, a statue of the heroes placed in the central Saryan park of our capital, Yerevan.
Best Armenian movie #4 The merry bus
Albert Mkrtchyan՝s "The merry bus" was screened in 2001. A very touching Armenian film is describing the great grief of our nation, which tells about the fate of people after the great national tragedy. It is a heartbreaking story about the children and adults left alone after the Spitak earthquake in 1988. A bus goes to empty streets in Gyumri, leading the survivors.
People think positively: the life is going on. The film focuses on a woman and child named Gagik who find themselves and become so close. The film is so exciting and at the same time so touching that will make you watch it even ten times. The main actors are Anahit Harutyunyan as Ms. Satenik and Jora Baghdasaryan as Gagik.
Best Armenian movie #5 A bride from the North
Favorite comedy is satirizing Russian-Armenian relations, which directed by Nerses Hovhannisyan. Artak has served his military service in the Russian countryside where he meets Valya and falls in love with her.
They tend to get married. But Valya’s mother refuses to send her only daughter to Armenia. Artak is forced to ask his numerous relatives and other villagers to visit a remote Russian village and bring a bride to Armenia. The boy`s role was playing Ara Babajanyan, and the Russian actress was Natalia Bespalova.
“A bride from the North was premiered in 1975 and made the audience fall in love with it. We still watch this excellent films and never feel bored.
Best Armenian movie #6 The song of the old days
We have many prominent films about the war, where there is no war scene, and instead, there is the spirit of war. The most influential is “The song of the old days.” The heroes of the film are members of the provincial city theatre team who shares the bitterness and suffering of the victims with the whole country.
The film focuses on the woman named Hayastan, who loses all her five sons during the war, and Nikol who brings the “black paper” about the death of her sons. The film is so touching that even the most cold-hearted person can’t watch without crying. The director of the film is Albert Mkrtchyan, who was the witness of the war.
Armenian old films are considered to be one of the valuable treasures for us, which have essential meaning for our national identity. Our old movies are not limited only to these six ones. There are numerous Armenian old films, which are loved by the Armenians and not only. Other treasures are Namus, Pepo, Guys from the Army Band, The Color of Pomegranates, We and Our Mountains, Ararat. It is just impossible to mention all of it, as it seems to be unlimited.
New Armenian films
Best Armenian movie #7 Lost and found in Armenia
"Lost and Found in Armenia" is the story of Bill, an American tourist who goes to vacations to Turkey. In a comedic and dangerous turn of events, Bill accidentally appears in a small village in Armenia, where the villagers believe that he is a Turkish spy.
It is in that little village that he meets a beautiful Armenian girl (Angela Sarafyan), who helps him escape from misfortune. They encounter with many adventures and fall in love with each other. “Lost and found in Armenia is a comedy-melodrama premiered in 2012 and earned a big audience.
Best Armenian movie #8 Unfinished flight
The film is devoted to the memory of the victims of Yerevan - Sochi flight. It is not a disaster film and presents the love story of one of the 113 passengers on board.
This drama is full of heartbreaking scenes which tells us about big and powerful love. The main characters are ballet dancer Arevik, and Sevak, who is a boxer.
After finding themselves in various psychological situations, they fight against their selves. And as a result, they lose each other. This film belongs those that have such unique content, and the professional artists play in such a realistic way that will make every watcher touch.
Best Armenian movie #9 The Line (Life and Struggle)
‘’The Line’’ film is considered to be the best one about Artsakh-Nagorno war in 1991. It is a remarkable story of love, nationalism and real events happening in Artsakh and Armenia in early 90s. The main character, Tigran takes us through an incredible path from timid teenager to a brave soldier inspired and challenged by atrocities of Artsakh war, friendship, and love.
The film’s audience was so excited that the second part also premiered. The 2 part of The Line shows the long and difficult path in the past 25 years. It describes how powerful Armenian nation and Armenian people are.
Best Armenian movie #10 Super Mama
If you are comedy lover and want to laugh your head off, “Super Mama” will be one of the best films for your kind of person. The story is full of funny and awkward moments. The main character is Karen, who pretends as if she is a woman, after reading an Ad on the paper ''Happy Mam" and decides to earn some money.
Randomly he meets a boy named Tigran with whom they agree on a deal. They pretend to be a mother and son to extort some money from a charitable organization, directed by Sona.
This famous Armenian film also has a second part, which is also as funny as the first one. Sona already knows that Karen is not a woman, and happens so, that Karen and Sona fall in love with each other, and live together till the end of their lives.
Best Armenian movie #11 Earthquake
On the 7th of December 1988, a disastrous earthquake destroyed almost half of the territory of Armenia. The cities of Spitak, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Stepanavan, as well as more than other 300 villages, were completely demolished. This disaster was one of the hardest times our nation has passed through. As a result of a massive accident more than 25.000 people dead.
The film “Earthquake” tells us the story of two main characters, taking place in the town of Leninakan: a young man named Robert Melkonyan and an architect named Konstantin Berezhnoy. Robert’s parents had died in a car accident caused by Berezhnoy. And Robert is going to get his revenge.
The unfortunate disaster happens on the same day that Robert was going to release his doubt. And the circumstances develop in a different way both for Robert and Berezhnoy. The film "Earthquake" premiered last year and has already obtained a big audience.
Best Armenian movie #12 Thank you, Dad
“Thank you Dad” film is one of the best Armenian comedies that will make you laugh out loud. The film is about a girl named Vergine, who lives in America and considered her to be real American. But she had Armenian roots and was Armenian girl. Virgy gets acquainted with her father's will and moves to Armenia.
She is told that his father has given 50 million dollars to her, but she will get the inheritance in Armenia when she gets married to an Armenian man named Bargevos. And there was only one person, named Bargebos, who was married and lived in Armenia. She falls into so many adventures to find Bargevos.
In the end, Virgy falls in love with Armenian and decides to move and live in her homeland. Her father's aim was to make her daughter love her motherland and live in Armenia.
Some of films mentioned above are even translated into English. So you also can enjoy these excellent Armenian films.
Published Jan. 21, 2019
Article by Elen Sargsyan