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Int’l Critics Line: Anna Smith On Armenia’s Oscar Entry ‘Songs Of Solomon’

Int’l Critics Line: Anna Smith On Armenia’s Oscar Entry ‘Songs Of Solomon’

This year’s International Feature Oscar entry from Armenia, Songs Of Solomon, boasts Green Book Academy Award-winning co-writer/producer Nick Vallelonga as producer for the film debut of theater director Arman Nshanian. Songs Of Solomon is a relatively low-budget but emotive watch, contrasting the power of music and friendship with the horrors of genocide.

Audrey Gevorkian’s screenplay details the friendship between a Turkish girl and her Armenian friend, based on stories told to Sirvart Kavoukjian by her grandmothers. The script imagines these two young girls to have been close to Komitas, the beloved Armenian composer and pioneer of ethnomusicology. Born Soghomon Soghomonian, Komitas was an orphan whose extraordinary singing voice opened doors and put him on the path to priesthood and fame.

The timeline flits between a concert in 1915 Constantinople, where the adult Komitas is performing, and the kids growing up in Koutina, Ottoman Empire from 1881. Played by Slava Seyranyan,

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