One of the greatest innovative poets of the 20th century, a respected teacher, exciting public speaker, loving father and husband, Taniel Varoujan at 31 foresaw the looming darkness that was approaching and the destruction of the Armenian nation in what became known as the Armenian Genocide.
Film Noir in style, “Taniel” pays homage to the era of dramatic filmmaking with extreme lighting and camera angles. The narrative is mostly heard through poetry, with Varoujan’s poems in Western Armenian – an endangered language now – expressing the emotions in each of the scenes; and narrative poetry in English written by Ben Hodgson telling us the story of Varoujan’s last months of life from arrest, detention, incarceration and murder, delivered with an emotive depth of feeling by Hollywood legend Sean Bean.
“When we talk about the tragedy of Armenia and Genocide, what can be forgotten under the immense shadow of the loss of life, is the individual. Taniel looks at the human spirit, the textural fabric of a person lost in facts, stats and arguments about what word you should call the murder of a race.”, says the director whose family has also been affected the Genocide and wars.
Music by Philip Glass played by Valentina Lisitsa sets the scene of World War 1 with heartfelt minimalist tones. Tigran Hamasyan and music from the album “Luys i Luso” are the driving force across the film through his complex and emotive cascade of notes and vocals, and Michael Nyman with his “Out of the Ruins” score builds and develops the feeling of tragedy and ultimately resurrection.
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