Pelešjan's Silence

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    Pelešjan's Silence

    Il silenzio di Pelešjan

    Directed by



    52 min

    • Italian


    The Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelešjan was unknown in the West until 1983, when the French critic Serge Daney approached him and, together with a handful of other fans of his work, introduced his work to Europe. According to the French critic, “Pelešjan’s aim is to capture the emotional and social ’cardiogram’ of his time“. This film is not trying to be a biography, or even a documentary, but simply the result of an extraordinary undertaking: filming – for the first time in thirty years – one of the greats of world cinema. Pelešjan’s cinema is a cinema of intensity and, at the same time, the precise experimentation of a form of “distance editing“. Although deriving from the work of Sergei M. Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, it distances itself from the two great Russian filmmakers’ own principles of editing. The film is constructed around “distance editing“ – as an experimental hyperbole and proof of an interior editing: it opens with a meeting with Pelešjan in Moscow, filming his fleeting and intense figure, before retrieving fragments of his works and new material showing him at exceptional times in his life. Extraordinary repertories from the director’s biography include sequences taken from film shoots and from his diploma exam at the VGIK, the prestigious Pan-Russian Institute of Film in Moscow.



    Artavazd Pelešjan
    Sara Fgaier

    Director's Statement

    Il silenzio di Pelešjan aims to outline the portrait of a memory: the work of Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Pelešjan. A memory of his works and creativity, the memory of cinema and its relationship with the man, his life, his way of thinking, his emotions and the incessant, infinite paths that connect one with the other. The portrait of Pelešjan is made up of inspired and lyrical visions, a space of visions constellated by sequences from his works and fragments of his life: vibrant film footage that gives us a sense of his extremely expressive work, in which the creative movement that generated it is not ruined by our intervention.



    made up of inspired and lyrical visions

    Pietro Marcello

    Pietro Marcello

    Pietro Marcello


    I tried to depict the present around me, those remnants that come from a past world, while the nostalgia of the 20th century is represented by archive footage, films by both professionals and amateurs, Genoans who go back many generations. My perspective on the present is that of a foreigner talking about what he sees from the window, the perspective on the past and on History is represented by the Genoans who silently recounted it through a camera lens.

    He made his directorial debut in 2003 with the shorts CARTA and SCAMPIA. The following year, IL CANTIERE won at the Festival Libero Bizzarri. In 2005, LA BARACCA won the Audience Prize at Videopolis. CROSSING THE LINE was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 2007, in the Orizzonti section; it won the Pasinetti Award and a Special Mention Doc/it. THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF (2009) won at the Turin Film Festival and, in 2010, the Forum and Teddy Bear awards for Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, a David di Donatello and a Nastro d'Argento, Internantional Jury Prize - Cinéma du Réel, at the Buenos Aires Film Festival. In 2011 he made PELESJAN'S SILENCE, presented at Venice as a special event. With the independent production company "Avventurosa", set up as part of the project for THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF, he made LOST AND BEAUTIFUL, that won the Special Mention of the Ecumenical Prize and the Junior Jury Award at FF Locarno in 2015.

    Selected Filmography