By Alin K. Gregorian
WATERTOWN, Mass. — Families are closest to one’s heart, or so goes conventional thinking. But what happens if there’s a member of the family who is so physically and emotionally detached that others either have no memories of their presence in family events or what memories there are, are bitter?
That is the starting point of documentary filmmaker Suzanne Khardalian. Her film, based on her own grandmother, “Grandma’s Tattoos,” shown at Watertown Middle School on December 14, was sponsored by the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Boston Sardarabad Gomideh and the Armenian International Women’s Association (AIWA). She spoke and took questions after the showing.
Her paternal grandmother, Khanoum, lived in the apartment above her family’s. The camera captures the emotions of Khardalian, her sisters and their mother, who express their resentment of and dislike for the dour woman with the repulsive tattoos, who was incapable of displaying any love to her husband, children or grandchildren.