TORONTO (TIFF Daily News)–With more than 200 films on the menu for the Toronto International Film Festival–a few inevitably touch sensitive political issues. This year’s most emotional is Ararat–which details the history of Armenian oppression at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the early years of the 20th century.
The film opened at the Festival on September 5. Its renowned Canadian director and writer–Atom Egoyan stated–"I think what was exciting about last night was that we could bring the film back to Toronto." Egoyan was keen to stress that it’s a Canadian film. "It’s really about how we–in this culture–not only have to tell these stories–but we have to also respond and listen. It’s about this incredible responsibility that we’re all faced with."
The Armenian Genocide has never been acknowledged by the Turkish government–a continuing source of frustration to descendants of the victims. The issue is still enough of a sore point that Egoyan pulled the film from this year’s Cannes Film Festival because it was becoming a point of political contention.
Egoyan–whose film credits include The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica–claims the point of his most recent feature is to show the denial that continues to this day. "How we remember in a specific way is how we prevent it from happening again."