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Archive Preview: Amerikatsi

A man in a cap looking upward.
August 30, 2023 - 7:00 pm
Introduction by Dr. Eric Esrailian. Q&A with filmmaker-actor Michael Goorjian; Brian Kite, Interim Dean, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.


Armenia, 2023

Torn from his ancestral home as a child and raised in America, Charlie Bakhchinyan (Michael Goorjian) returns to Armenia in 1947 in a repatriation program promising a new life for ethnic Armenians. Like many of the estimated 90,000 repatriates who returned following World War II, Charlie encounters a country ruled by Soviet communism, unrecognizable from the opportunities promised upon his arrival. Amerikatsi navigates this stark world with whimsy as Charlie stumbles through his lost language and culture with child-like wonder, landing him imprisoned after a series of missteps. With his world further narrowed when placed in solitary confinement, Charlie’s field of vision focuses on watching his neighbors in a nearby apartment building. Initially drawn into the ostensibly free lives of his new fellow compatriots, Charlie’s world expands as he encounters complex parallels between his experience and those beyond his prison cell. A universal tale about one’s search for a homeland, Amerikatsi is a remarkable story of the will to find connection and humor in the darkest of circumstances.

DCP, color, 116 min. Director: Michael Goorjian. Screenwriter: Michael Goorjian. With: Michael Goorjian, Hovik Keuchkerian, Nelli Uvarova.

Special thanks to our community partners: UCLA Promise Armenian Institute, Armenian Film Foundation, Armenian Film Society, Wende Museum, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, UCLA Center for European and Russian Studies, UCLA International Institute.

Watch a trailer: