Beyond the Ararat is the story of a woman of Turkish origin who embarks on a journey to better understand what makes up her identity.
A road movie which brings her from her childhood neighborhood in Brussels to Turkey and Armenia. A quest where each woman she encounters could be the reflection of herself.
Entering the land of her ancestors, Anatolia, she questions her cultural heritage. Stopping in her grandmother’s village, she discovers the “Agit”; an antique oral tradition where women sing for their dead. The songs open a potential space for mourning, where Turkish, Kurdish but also Armenian women missing from that land, can sing “together”.
The confrontation with the “missing” from her memory, brings her farther eastward in Anatolia to the foot of the Ararat Mountain, and beyond…
I graduated from the Saint-Luc School of Art in Brussels and worked several years in architecture, interior design and scenography before entering the film school INSAS. After two years in the directing program, I took a Masters in creative documentary and visual anthropology and made my first documentary film "Our Wedding". In this film, I explored the theme of traditional marriage amongst Turkish immigrants. This was a first step towards questioning what made up my identity.
“Beyond the Ararat” is a continuation of this debut. This quest takes me away from the family context to the much larger question of the land my origins, Anatolia.
Born in the heart of Europe, I grew up amongst the contrast between two cultures: the Christian East outside the home, and the Muslim orient inside. Very early, the question of identity came naturally to me, as I found it necessary to understand what bound me to the country of my origins: Turkey.
Throughout my life, I was confronted with the dispute surrounding the “genocide” or «so-called genocide». It blurred the bond I had with my identity and cut me off from the land of my roots, Anatolia.
This is the main stake of the film. History can divide and separate. In this film, I choose to write my own memory with Anatolian, Armenian and Kurdish women’s accounts. Through oral traditions and songs, Beyond the Ararat is a way of finding a common space to share stories with other women and to find my place among them.
Directed by Tülin Özdemir
Editor - Anne-Laure Guégan
Dop - Johan Legraie
Sound design - Raf Enckels
Music - David Yengibarian
Visions du Réel (CH)
Medfilm Festival (IT)
Elles tournent (BE)
Faito Doc Festival (IT)
Festival international du film d'Amiens (FR)
Festival A Nous de voir (FR)
IWFF KIN (Armenia)
MediMed - European Mediterranean Documentary Market (ES)
Cinemigrante - Festival Internacional de Cine (Argenina)
Fest a film Ouvert (BE)
17th Flying Broom International Women's film festival (TR)
16ème édition du festival international de Cinéma des droits de l'homme (Argentina)
Beeld voor Beeld (NL)
Human Rights Film Festival (CA)
Co-produced with Stenola
Supported by Centre du cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, VOO & Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds
With the support of Gsara, Docu Regio, Wallonie Bruxelles image, Wallonie Bruxelles International
Language: French, Turkish, Armenian
Subtitles: English, Dutch