Bridges Festival: David Safarian’s eternal winter

© Sophie Soukias

Armenian film-maker David Safarian will be at Bozar to present his latest film Hot Country/Cold Winter during the Bridges festival. 

"I know what you are trying to do, I know the photo you have in your mind," David Safarian announces with conviction, striking a pose on one side then the other of the path with zigzagging paving stones that leads to Yerevan Ararat Brandy Factory. Constructed in 1877 on the remains of an old Ottoman fortress, the Armenian/Soviet style building overlooks the capital and the Hrazdan river which runs through it. The Armenian film-maker with a strong visual identity used this highly cinematic setting as the decor for the opening scene of his second feature-length fictional film Hot Country Cold Winter (2016), which has been well-received at numerous festivals, including the Berlinale. Twenty years after Lost Paradise, the documentary film-maker, who trained in Moscow, makes a triumphant return to fiction with the intimate tale of a couple of artists who are caught up in the great energy crisis that hit Armenia in the early nineties, in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet republic. In this poetic and metaphorical work, the two protagonists try to survive a glacial winter that seems interminable. Will night ever give way to day? Provided that their souls don’t freeze in the meantime, that they do not succumb to the suffocating mists of isolation. "When living conditions become hard, a man quickly loses his human face. We lived for years in terrible conditions. But we were able to stay human," Safarian explains, who will bet at Bozar to present his latest film during the Bridges festival.

BRIDGES. EAST OF WEST FILM DAY 16 > 20/1, Bozar, www.bozar.be

Hot Country, Cold Winter 18/1, 17.00

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