Moving Mountains: The Centenary of Armenian Cinema
Screening Dates
  • June 19, 2023 6:30

A breath-catchingly beautiful film from a filmmaker who seems to have emerged fully formed; her internal mythology and symbolism is totally coherent and hauntingly realized.”

So Mayer, Sight and Sound

Inspired by the traditional Armenian sharakan, a nine-part religious chant, I’m Going to Change My Name was Maria Sahakyan’s third and final feature film before the director’s untimely death at 37 from cancer. The film’s loose story revolves around the introverted 14-year-old Evridika, who lives in the northern Armenian industrial city of Alaverdi with her distracted mother. Plagued by boredom, burgeoning sexuality, desires for escape, and a longing for her absent father, Evridika drifts across the virtual world of internet chat rooms and the alienating landscape of her town. When her mother’s former lover suddenly reappears, the girl makes an emotional connection that pushes her out of her dream world and into the dangerous realm of adulthood. Developing the lyrical vision she exhibited in her 2005 debut feature The Lighthouse, Sahakyan’s last film is built out of ethereal shards of adolescent love and psychology, luminously photographed by the rising star of Armenian cinematography, Mkrtich Malkhasyan.

In Armenian and Russian with English subtitles

Thrillingly idiosyncratic … Saakyan and Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky [are] birds of a feather.”

Carmen Gray, MUBI Notebook