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ARAM

France, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Robert Kéchichian

A tough, brooding thriller that reaches deep into the heart of Turkish-Armenian animosity. The DST, France's internal secret service, observes the covert arrival on their shores of Aram, a feared ex-soldier for the Armenian cause who disappeared underground as a resistance fighter in his homeland. Ostensibly in Paris to close a deal to purchase a large shipment of arms with shady Kurdish rebels, Aram also has unfinished family business. His father holds him responsible for the incident a decade before that left Levon, Aram's brother, paralysed.

Predominantly lit by Paris neon or filtered through the smoky haze of Turkish quarter coffee houses, Aram is a twisted dream of heightened passions, patriotic fervour and treacherous ambushes. Combining the very best elements of organised crime dramas, political thriller and revenge tragedy, the film bursts from the screen in a flurry of gunfire. Film Noir painted blood red.

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