Moving Mountains: The Centenary of Armenian Cinema
Screening Dates
  • June 16, 2023 6:30

Following a decade-long inertia under Joseph Stalin’s autocratic control of the film industry, Soviet cinema bounced back with a fervent optimism towards the new horizons offered by modernization and greater contact with the outside world. Yuri Yerznkyan’s Song of First Love belongs to a slate of films made by the post-war generation of filmmakers who wanted to address issues pertaining to youth and the challenges of contemporary urban life. The storyline charts the rise, fall, and eventual comeback of a popular singer, who gives into the temptations of fame only to realize the value of familial bonds. Replete with rousing pop ballads that have since entered the pantheon of Armenian music, Song of First Love was Armenia’s first international cinematic hit and one of the highest-grossing Soviet movies of the 1950s. Redolent of Douglas Sirk’s melodramas, the film cleverly masks its politically sensitive concerns about the clash of traditions and modernity under a parable on romantic love—a model that would be replicated by numerous later Armenian films.

In Armenian with English subtitles