Artsakh, A Small Country That Now Only Exists in Cinema

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PARIS – Nora Martirosyan’s film “Si le vent tombe” [Should the Wind Drop], shot before the Turkish-Azerbaijani forces attacked, has just been released in French cinemas. This film is now an archive of free Artsakh. It tells the story of an international expert, Alain Delage (played by Grégoire Colin), who arrives in the self-proclaimed republic to assess the airport, brand new: the building is a national pride, but due to political imbroglios, it has never been able to start official operations.

Nora Martirosyan with actor Grégoire Colin (All rights reserved)

Imbued with poetry and surrealism, the story is invented, but the airport, lost in the vast mountain ranges of the Caucasus, does exist, as does its difficulties in opening.

“Physically I had everything, the fields, the buildings, the president, but on Google Earth I had nothing,” says Nora Martirosyan to explain the state of mind in which she made this film, to meet a need for recognition. “In my fiction this is what I say: the hope of recognition is symbolized by this airport. It is an institution capable of linking a non-existent country to the world,” she says.

This is the first film by Nora Martirosyan. Selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020, it is the only fiction film shot in Nagorno Karabakh.

“There were Armenians in this land. Armenia wanted to look towards Europe. As an Armenian I have the feeling that history is starting over again, as in 1915 with the genocide, when the international community did not want to see what was happening.”

The film premiered in Yerevan on March 10, 2021. The French media has welcomed this story of a small country that only exists today in cinema.

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Topics: Cinema
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