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AJB DOC 2021

Critique : I Am Not Alone

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- Ce documentaire politique de Garin Hovannisian tend à prendre parti, mais c’est un film techniquement impeccable, chargé d’émotion

Critique : I Am Not Alone

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

Back in 2019, when the feature-length version of Garin Hovannisian’s documentary I Am Not Alone [+lire aussi :
bande-annonce
fiche film
]
premiered at Toronto, it was a timely and informative piece of filmmaking that shed some light on the lesser-known event of Armenia’s own “velvet revolution” a year earlier, in which the former president and then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan was ousted in a people’s non-violent revolt. Two years later, there is a new, 52-minute-long cut for television that has been screened in competition at the AJB DOC Film Festival.

(L'article continue plus bas - Inf. publicitaire)

The protagonist of the film, and the revolution itself, is Nikol Pashinyan, a former journalist and an opposition politician with little to no support from the voters. After the trauma of the failed revolution in 2008, when peaceful protesters were met with violence by the police, resulting in the deaths of ten people, the decade of corruption facilitated by Sargsyan and the dubious political act that let him switch the presidential chair for the prime minister’s one (transferring power in the process), Pashinyan, in desperation, decided to start a march in the city of Gyumri and lead it through Vanadzor to the capital, Yerevan, to prevent the parliament from electing Sargsyan as the prime minister. The march gained some momentum via social media, but the number of people that gathered was not big enough to prevent the procedure. Through some risky manoeuvres, Pashinyan managed to motivate people to pile more and more pressure on those in power by means of civil disobedience. The upshot is that Pashinyan became the new prime minister, his associates the ministers, and they started to fight the corruption of the former régime.

Apart from Pashinyan, whose efforts were documented on social media channels, director Hovannisian finds his interlocutors in the guise of Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan, also a journalist by trade, and his adversaries, chief of police Valeriy Osipyan and Sargsyan himself, whose interest in chess serves as the ironic punchline of the film, as he is outsmarted in this game of political tactics. One of the movie’s producers and its music composer, Serj Tankian (of System of a Down fame), also appears in front of the camera to offer some commentary. The filmmaker’s attitude is clear: quite politically biased, but nevertheless not unethical.

In its TV format, I Am Not Alone is even more compact and accessible for the viewer than its feature-length version. The abundance of the material filmed on the ground, at the very site of the events, both in professional and more amateur formats, invites comparisons to Maidan Square-themed works like Sergei Loznitsa’s Maidan [+lire aussi :
bande-annonce
fiche film
]
(2014) and Evgeny Afineevsky’s Winter on Fire [+lire aussi :
critique
bande-annonce
fiche film
]
(2015), which do not necessarily end in favour of Hovannisian’s documentary, but the result is actually decent, nevertheless. The cinematography by Vahe Terteryan is full of attractive “money shots”, and the editing by Barry Poltermann blends the social-media video clips in with them in a smooth fashion, while Tankian’s score pumps up both the tension and the emotion. I Am Not Alone (the title is taken from the protesters’ song composed during the march) is still an easy-to-watch and easily comprehensible documentary on a political topic.

I Am Not Alone is an Armenian-US co-production by Avalanche Entertainment and Serjical Strike Entertainment.

(L'article continue plus bas - Inf. publicitaire)

(Traduit de l'anglais)

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