Don't Tell Me the Boy Was Mad

Aram, a young man from Marseille of Armenian origin, blows up the Turkish ambassador's car in Paris. Gilles, a young cyclist who was passing at that precise moment, is seriously injured. Aram's mother feels guilty and feels the need to visit Gilles at the hospital and beg for his forgiveness, something that Gilles does not understand. Against the advice of his comrades in Beirut, Aram decides to go meet his victim.


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  • ★★★½ review by Anette on Letterboxd

    About how understanding, knowledge and the question "why" is so much more effective than revenge when adressing the issue of terrorism.

  • ★★★★ review by otxjunior on Letterboxd

    A movie that respects its audience's convictions on the subject of international terrorism, and I appreciate it for that. Plus the family approach, specially someone's struggle to forgiveness or understanding, was really emotional.

    The american title is ridiculous though. And I was worried they would call it A Crazy Story!

  • ★★★★ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd

    April 24, 1915 is the date commemorated even today as the start of the Armenian genocide when up to 1 1/2 million of those people were exterminated by the Ottoman Turks during WWI. This film recounts a century of pain and terrorist reprisals by the survivors, starting with the famous assassination of the Turkish ambassador to Germany in 1921 by the Armenian hero Soghomon Tehlirian. This film starts with a B&W flashback of the trial of Tehlirian, and then shifts to the 1980s when disaffected youths resorted to terrorism to remind the world of the Turkish perfidy.

    The film tells the story of one family who run an ethnic grocery in Marseilles in 1980. The hot-headed son (Syrus Shahidi) joins a terrorist group which is determined to assassinate the Turkish ambassador to France. In the course of that act, an innocent bystander (played by one of my all-time favorite actors Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) is crippled for life. The film is the story of how that family deals with the consequences of the initial act, with a telling emphasis on the activities of the Armenian terrorists operating out of Beirut in the '80s. French-Armenian director Robert Guédiguian uses the instructive and moving story of this family as a symbol of the resounding pain of his heritage and the ultimate folly of terrorism.

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