Calendar, Atom Egoyan, 70’, Armenia / Germany / Canada, ZDF 29.6.1993, OV with German subtitles

Already in Family Viewing, the Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan uses video technology as a symbol of alienation. In Calendar, he sends a photographer to Armenia to photograph 12 churches for a calendar. His wife, who is more closely acquainted with Armenian culture, accompanies him as his interpreter. The local guide imparts his knowledge of the local area to them. Only the wife and the guide are visible in the image, the camera embodies the alienated gaze of the photographer, who finally returns to Canada alone. “The idea of the nation fascinates me,” writes Egoyan. “Let us suppose that a nation is the result of a collective projection. Then it becomes evident that the idea of national territory is more a psychological concept and less defined by natural boundaries.”

Atom Egoyan (*1960) is a well-known Canadian-Armenian film director, who in the 1980s belonged to a group of young filmmakers of the Toronto New Wave. His films have been shown in Cannes, Locarno, Berlin and Venice and won many awards; for his entire body of work he received the highest Canadian award. In cooperation with Das kleine Fernsehspiel, he made Calendar (1993), which premiered in the Berlinale Forum, as did Family Viewing (1988).