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“Amerikatsi” screened in Garland Theater during Armenian History Month

Unveiling layers of history and identity, “Amerikatsi,” a trilingual film portraying an Armenian repatriate’s tumultuous return to Soviet Armenia, was presented on April 5 in Garland. The Armenian Culture Club, led by co-president juniors Ani Hovsepyan and Lillian Shamamian, in collaboration with Back to the Big Screen, organized the event to kick off Armenian History Month, which was first recognized by Los Angeles County in 2021.

The 2022 film, directed by Armenian-American actor and filmmaker Michael Goorjian, highlights the experiences of more 100,000 Armenians in the middle of the twentieth century who, after fleeing their homes decades earlier during the Armenian Genocide, were given the opportunity to return to Armenia, now part of the Soviet Union, via Joseph Stalin’s repatriation program.

“I’m struck by the depth of its storytelling and the layers it added to my understanding of history and identity,” said audience member junior Aikam Singh.

The film follows the story of the fictional character Charlie Bakhchinyan, an Armenian-American from New York. However, Charlie’s story presents a twist: rather than being accepted with open arms to his ancestral homeland, he is accused of being an American spy and is thrown into prison.

“The imagery, particularly the haunting image of Charlie in his dimly lit cell, resonated with me,” said Singh. “It serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of adversity, and the potential for reconciliation and understanding, even in the darkest of times.”

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Greg Panossian
Greg Panossian, News Editor
Grade: 11 Years on Staff: 3  
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