Suzanne Khardalian presents one of her movies to UAE audience

Suzanne Khardalian presents one of her movies to UAE audience

Suzanne Khardalian“I Hate Dogs” (2005) was displayed in Sharjah, followed by a presentation by the Director Suzanne Khardalian-Holmquist
Khardalian thanked the Armenians in UAE for inviting her to do the presentation of the movie and started her speech by describing how the initial idea of making this move had occurred to her. One day she was reading a brief newspaper caption, where the death of a person was announced in few lines, adding that he was the last survivor of the Armenian Genocide in the city where he had settled after escaping the atrocities. This innocent remark motivated her to start a new film: to find one of these latest survivor-witnesses of the Genocide and to try to convey to the audience the experience of a lifetime hidden behind a person.

Khardalian admitted that it was difficult to find the right person for the purpose. There were several candidates, but most of them did not have full grasp on their memory. After long search she found a suitable candidate, who was living in a French city, but his family members were so far from the Armenian reality, that eventually did not allow him to talk about his experience. The quest for the right “star” led Khardalian to Garbis, a 100 years old person, who became the subject of the film. Garbis and his family were open minded and cooperative. He had a big personal archive of family photos and movies. He believed in the importance of leaving visual marks to the coming generations. Part of his family movie clips were used by Khardalian, mixing the old material with present day scenes, thus creating a sort of connectivity between different periods of time.

Khardalian underlined that she did not want to make an ordinary movie, based on scientific documentation. On the contrary, this was a movie based on the real life of a person. It was lauded by foreign audience more for the spirit of the renaissance and restarting a new life demonstrated by Garbis, rather than being a movie on the topic of Genocide.

What Garbis did is characteristic to many Armenians of the time. He struggled to survive and to prove that he could not be defeated or brought to his knees. Another aspect that Khardalian highlights in the film is the idea of the lost rights and properties. Armenians lost their lives and homes. They became without land and properties. They were deprived from all means of dignified life and were forced to be beggars. But the strange thing is that the will of revival immediately surfaced and they managed to change their miserable economic situation to at least a modest one and in some cases they reached highly affluent situations. Garbis was obliged to be a beggar in Baghdad, after being driven away his homeland, but after a short while he managed to open his own business and to develop it further in France after emigrating there, although he had some hardship during the first years in the new continent.

Some 120 Armenians followed the film display and the commentaries by the Director after the movie. One of the subjects discussed at this point was how to encourage young Armenians to be involved in political and media related careers. Having Armenians involved in the movie business will make it easier to promote subjects related to the Armenians and their problems.

Click here to read additional information on the Director and her work (including a letter addressed to Azad-Hye a year ago)

Suzanne Khardalian Suzanne Khardalian

Congratulations from the audience

Meeting with old acquaintances (Hratch and Sylvia Davidian)


  1. honest observer April 26, 2007, 10:46 am
    It is an honor to us to meet such an enthusiastic young people who attended the event. Nevertheless, the movie didn't stand strong enough on its own, although the director kept saying that she worked hard to choose the candidate and it was not an easy task. I think this is not the way to approach the young people and convince them to do such a job. You did it, be proud of it, don't complain, specially in front of people who are coming to be uplifted and for a moment to be taken away from their daily problems and to remember their ancestors.
    I think we all agree that we are in a country that appreciates the individuality and the need of professionalism. As a presenter you need to prepare your reading and not apologize for every word you say, and above all it is not appealing to turn such an event -APRIL 24- To a FUND RAISING OPPORTUNITY. Be specific, be professional because you are appearing in front of a whole community.
    an honest observer
  2. Dear “honest observer”..

    You are correct, the documentary movie I HATE DOGS was not that “moving” or strong enough like you've mentioned and Ms. Khardalian?s apologetic approach was questionable at times. Nonetheless her humane efforts, her conviction and dedication for Armenians and it?s? cause should be appreciated and truly understood. She did find an avenue to create awareness and let ?Our? voice be heard world-wide.

    I recommend everyone to visit to get a better picture of what she & her husband, in point of fact do.

    And just a point if may I add:


    I do not think that her mission was a FUND RAISING OPPORTUNITY at all!

    She was asked precise questions by the audience and she carefully and plainly answered them back.


    No, she did not distribute flyers, proposals and movie scripts just to pull a dime out of your pockets! (And maybe she should have done so, thus it may serve a remarkable productive purpose?Exposure!)


    However, the host of the day maybe should have interfered right at the end of her presentation and diverted the attentions to the rationale of that day?

    April 24 a day of remembrance of our ancestors.



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