Notre village

Year2022 Duration67 min. Projection formatDCP ColourColour Languagearmenian DirectorComes Chahbazian WriterComes Chahbazian PhotographyComes Chahbazian SoundJaouen Le Fur, Pauline Piris-Nury Production Matière Première

Edition: Pauline Piris-Nury

Sound edition: Ludovic van Pachterbeke

Mixed by: Emmauel de Boissieu

Colour: Pierre-Louis Cassou

Produced: Julien Contreau, Pauline Piris-Nury

Co-produced: Isabelle Christiaens, Pierre Duculot, Serge Kestemont

Produced by: Matière Première

Co-produced with: RTBF, WIP y Luna Blue Film.

European première

In the early 90s, in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), civilian volunteers all from the same village choose to take up arms in resistance, to liberate their land. Each in turn, they weave the fabric of their joint story. In this village life, everyday gestures are still charged with the silent presence of the war. And then, three decades later, History repeats itself. War flares up again.


The houses here are made of grey stone. That's the way it is, as they say, and if they don't go with the green of the surrounding woods it's their problem. We make life with whatever we have to hand. The places we live in impose themselves in some ways. Some of these are violent. Like for example being in between two communities with a long-standing conflict that flares up again and again. Then men are sent to war, teenagers die at the front and women become everybody's widows and mothers.

The disintegration of the Soviet Uni9on destroys the lives of the inhabitants of Artsaj, between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Old grudges about frontiers and property flare up once more. Since the late 1980s they have been forced to live not exactly among ruins, but in a state of alert where everything is provisional. Upon visiting "our village", we can see how life goes on despite everything, how children play with whatever they find, the bee keeper starts making honey again, the nurse fills the syringes, the fisherman pulls up a net full of fish, the butcher slaughters the pig, and also how the non-human world gets on with its own life: the spider weaves its web, the cat licks up the pig's blood. All these goings-on seem to be imbued with a hidden meaning. What vestiges are we looking for among these pictures?

So let's allow the neighbours to tell us what happened. Through their words we might be able to better understand their grief. Under a lighting that creates a theatrical air, each one, rather than explaining, lists the events that have made up their history. The memory of the fateful day when everything went wrong inevitably becomes a ballad that takes up the subterranean currents of all the feelings and preserves them. Like this they take on a new power, almost like omens. This stylisation of the production, alternating with sequences of a naturalist nature, illustrate the biblical adage that one who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind. That words are a symbol but they manifest themselves in the flesh is something that in "our village" we learn with blood.

Bárbara Mingo Costales

In the same program

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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