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Vodka Lemon-Movie Review 11/23/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Armenian language film, Comedy, Kurdish language film, Light Drama, Movies, Romance, Russian language film.
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Vodka Lemon (Armenian/Russian/Kurdish) 2003

Winner, San Marco Prize, Best Film Award, Venice Film Festival
Jury Award, Feature Film/Best Actor, Newport Beach Film Festival
Official Selection, Seattle; Palm Springs; Toronto Film Festivals

Directed by Hiner Saleem
Starring Romen Avinian and Lala Sarkissian

A whimsical tale about the romance that develops between Hamo (Avinian) and Nina (Sarkissian), an older couple who live in a bleak and impoverished Kurdish village in Armenia. Despite the hardships faced by both, Hamo and Nina’s feelings of love and happiness grow.

Vodka Lemon is the name of a drink sold at a stand in the middle of nowhere – or so it seems in the flat and snow-covered landscape. The backdrop of an imposing mountain range rises above all, but its majestic beauty doesn’t extend to the day-to-day lives of those living below. There is very little dialogue in the film, sometimes none at all during an entire short scene, but beautiful music and songs, some in French, add to the lighthearted nature of the tale.

The DVD includes liner notes with an interesting interview with the director. He quotes his grandfather: “Our past is sad, our present is catastrophic, but fortunately we have no future.” This film belies the negativism of that statement and is a lovely tribute to the spirit of the Armenian Kurdish community.

88 min. Not rated.