Friday, August 11, 2023


Portrait  of Aurora Mardiganian, who escaped from the Armenian genocide, fled to America and ended up starring in a silent film that told her story and those of the Armenians being killed by the Turks.

Using the 18 minutes of the previously lost film AUCTION OF SOULS that starred Mardiganian, as well as video of her before her death, the animated AURORA’S SUNRISE tells the story of what happened to bring her to America and make the film. Not shying away from what happened the film makes clear how the genocide occurred and how the now lost film helped to save thousands of other refugees.

I like the film but I don’t particularly love it. Don’t get me wrong it’s a hell of a story, and one that is so strong that it over comes any short comings of the film (I adore the Charlie Chaplin story) the problem is that the style of the animation didn’t work for me.  It’s purely a natter of personal taste. I love the images it creates, but there is something about the motion that kept me from truly giving myself over to it.

My quibble about the style of animation aside, I still recommend the film. The story it tells is an important and compelling one. It’s a film that once more reminds the world  that genocide is nothing new and was going on longer than most people think.

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