foreign films

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Songs of Solomon (Armenia): Interview with Nick Vallelonga

The Armenian film Songs of Solomon is an earnest biopic celebrating the life of the great Armenian ethnomusicologist Komitas, who pioneered adapting folk music into symphonic works, and who during his lifetime transcribed over 3,000 pieces of Armenian folk music, more than half of which were subsequently lost: only around 1,200 are now extant. But more significantly, it is a painful testament to the systematic genocide of the Armenian people – not the mass murder of 800,000 children and over a million and a half women following the first World War, but the earlier 1895 attempt by Sultan Abdul Hamid II to wipe out Christian Armenians who for centuries before had lived together peacefully with their Muslim neighbors.