Italian journalist and author of the documentary “Children of Ararat” Piero Marrazzo recently gave an interview to Cinema Italiano.
Note that “Children of Ararat” was endorsed by Rai Italia. It was released in 2016 and was presented at the Sudestival film festival in the Italian region of Apulia.
In the interview, Marrazzo talked about genocide in general and remarked that “it cannot be perceived as a virus that attacks the body and then leaves it… The thirst to destroy is a bacterium that lives in people.” He continued, “We shouldn’t pretend that we aren’t aware of it, and we need to always get the antibodies ready.”
In his film, Marrazzo presented the audience with conversations with representatives of the Armenian community in Italy. Among his interlocutors were writer and the author of “Lark Nests” Antonia Arslan, documentary director Satenik Kuchukyan, and former ASALA member Garegin Grigoryan. The documentary also features scenes with Charles Aznavour.
They all recalled their relatives who had long left this world, the tastes and smells of childhood, and how hard it had been for them to survive.
“When I was preparing for exams at the university, my aunt brought me a full box of cookies,” said Antonia Arslan, “So she wanted to sweeten my studies.”
The family of Charles Aznavour had been saved from starvation by bulgur. This food was provided to Aznavours by resistance fighters and Jews who found shelter in the Aznavour home. “My father brought this bulgur in bags. The French would not eat it. But it helped us survive,” said Charles Aznavour.
Aznavour also talked about his connection with Italy and how an Italian ship had taken his parents from Constantinople to Thessaloniki. The captain of this ship had refused to hand over the refugees to the Turkish authorities.
“This is international territory, and you cannot be here,” the captain said. Due to this, Misha and Knar Aznavuryan expressed their gratitude to Italy by calling their first child Aida, a name that they knew from Verdi’s opera.