Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Return of the Poet 2005

Poeti Veradardze

Directed by Harutyun Khachatryan

Unique, virtually wordless documentary exploring the legacy of poet and folk singer Jivani provides a fascinating, mysterious portrait of Armenian life and traditions.

Armenia In Armenian with English subtitles
82 minutes 35mm

Director, Editor


Harutyun Khachatryan
Mikayel Stamboltsyan


Vrej Petrosyan
Armen Mirakyan
Artyom Melkoumyan


Anahit Kesayan
Levon Karapetyan


Avet Terteryan


Sydney 2006


A truly cinematic oddity, this unique, virtually wordless documentary explores the legacy of Armenian poet and folk singer Jivani. Eschewing conventional biography, the filmmaker first follows the creation of a statue of the great poet, painstakingly hewn from a seemingly impervious chunk of rock. We then accompany the statue’s peculiar journey, providing a fascinating, often mysterious, portrait of Armenian life and traditions. — Michael McDonnell

“Instead of being taken to a park or museum space for exhibition, the giant statue is loaded onto a multi-axle truckbed. So begins a cross-country odyssey in which sculptor and poet revisit ancient Armenian sites and traditions, folk dances, churchyards, peasants on carts and shantytowns filled with the poor and unemployed. Appropriately, Jivani, who spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, was known as a wanderer who sang to strangers. Khachatryan leaves much unsaid and implicit, letting the viewer marvel at the timeless scenery as the statue glides by with its expression of supernatural calm.” — Deborah Young, Variety