Pouria Heidary Oureh; 2016; Armenia; 80 min. in Armenian and English with English subtitles
This intentional and beautifully crafted feature makes a triumphant return after screening at the 2017 Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival. Aram, an Iranian-Armenian transmasculine youth who immigrated to the United States in childhood, travels to Armenia for the first time—to propose to a girlfriend Aram met and lived with in America. He’s greeted at the airport by his older brother, Vartan. The handsome pair takes on responsibility for all the traditional ritual details of the marriage proposal—suits, flowers, scents, sweets—since their father isn’t alive to guide them. Despite his brother’s love and support, Aram encounters many cultural, religious, and national differences on the 24-hour trip, but even harder obstacles lie ahead: finding acceptance by getting the blessing and approval of those who must transcend their culture.
Queer cinema so infrequently originates in Middle Eastern countries, which makes this rare feature a fortunate blessing for audiences here in the United States. Written and directed by Tehran-based Pouria Heidary Oureh, APRICOT GROVES reflects a story of family, faith, brotherhood, and love. It is a moving reflection on the themes of secrecy and identity, as well as an intricate example of the endurance and complications that permeate conservative religious expectations.
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Seattle, WA 98122
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