By Anna Yukhananov
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
WATERTOWN, Mass. — The lecture hall of the Armenian Library and Museum (ALMA) was packed last Saturday afternoon — men in suede jackets and turtlenecks, women in bright patterns, a buzz of accents: Armenian, Middle Eastern, Bostonian. Members of the Armenian community had gathered for a screening of “Hove,” a short film about the aftereffects of the Armenian Genocide.
Alex Webb, the film’s writer and director, greeted the audience with “ench bess es,” or “how are you doing” in Armenian.
“That’s about all I know,” Webb said. “I’m ABC — Armenian by Choice.”
Webb is also Armenian by marriage: his wife, Shirleyann Kaladjian, stars in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis.
It was Webb’s immersion in the Armenian community that inspired him to write “Hove,” which means “The Wind.”
“Armenian history has somehow become my history as well,” Webb said. “And it’s pretty astounding to me that the history is still so little known, and must be constantly defended.”
The 10-minute film tells the story of two Armenian women, Nina and Zara, each affected in her own way by the legacy of the Armenian Genocide.
Webb said he wanted to eschew an “intellectual” approach to history, drawing instead on viewers’ sympathies for the main characters.