LOS ANGELES—KCET, independent public media for Southern and Central California, presents a special night of programming featuring back-to-back documentaries by filmmaker Hagop Goudsouzian on Tuesday, April 5, in observance of Armenian Remembrance. Larry Zarian, Vice Chair of the California State Transportation Commission and former mayor of Glendale, will host the evening with his son – film and television actor Gregory Zarian. Armenian Minstrels begins at 8 p.m., followed by Armenian Exile at 9:30 p.m.
Armenian Minstrels – in his newest film, filmmaker Hagop Goudsouzian travels to Armenia in search of the soul of Armenian music. Through a series of chance encounters, he attends a concert in Yerevan to see the Sayat-Nova Minstrel Song Ensemble, one of the most renowned minstrel groups in Armenia. Stunned by the beauty of their music and professionalism, he embarks on an unprecendented musical journey and spends a month filming them. Through songs and interviews the minstrels recount the critical role their songs and music play in keeping alive a once-dying art form, and the role music and songs play as a tool for cultural survival.
In Armenian Exile (2009), his second film, Goudsouzian paints a self-portrait in which he pursues a greater understanding of his cultural roots. In 1988, Nagorno-Karabakh’s war for independence was in the headlines worldwide. Halfway across the world in Canada, Goudsouzian’s peaceful world was suddenly shaken: “I had forgotten I was Armenian, until I saw the courage of these people who had never forgotten who they were and knew what they had to do.” Seeking clarity of both history and self, Goudsouzian reflects on Armenian identity, which is at the heart of all his films.
Born in Egypt, Hagop Goudsouzian is of Armenian descent and currently lives in Toronto. In partnership with TVOntario TFO, he has produced and directed a number of television and documentary series.
Look for Asbarez’s exclusive interview with Goudsouzian tomorrow.