Missak & Mélinée Manouchian: To honor the forefathers

English Daily #2
Missak & Mélinée Manouchian (Katia Guiragossian, France, 2024), Yerevan Premiere, 11-7 21:00 House of Cinema H. Malyan Hall

On February 21, 1944, after years of resistance to the Nazi occupation, Missak Manouchian, an Armenian Genocide survivor, who had moved to France as a teenager in the mid-1920’s, was executed by the Germans, along with several members of his resistance cell. Exactly 80 years later, on February 21, 2024, Manouchian’s and his wife Mélinée’s remains were reburied in the Paris Pantheon, as a National Hero of France.

The incredible life story of Missak and Mélinée, herself a Resistance member, is compassionately retold in the documentary Missak & Mélinée Manouchian, written, directed and extensively researched by Katia Guiragossian, the heroic couple’s great-niece, who has devoted her recent years to preserving their memory and played a key role in their pantheonization. In the words of the author, the film conveys “a tragic, but beautiful story of love and commitment”. Partially based on Mélinée’s notebooks, written in the 1950’s after moving to Soviet Yerevan, which were discovered by Guiragossian, this 50-minute biographical documentary is rich in footage from the first half of the 20th century, honoring traces of history too easily forgotten.

Artur Vardikyan