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Sweeping Yerevan

Sweeping Yerevan

armenisch with engl. subs.


53 min

| 2020 |

hits: 30

The camera accompanies Marina. She lives with her family consisting of two school children, a young adult, her husband Armen and her mother-in-law in a housing estate in the satellite town of Charentsavan, a 40-minute drive from Yerevan.

Marina can sew, cut hair, but at night she works as a street sweeper in Yerevan's city centre. Her tools are brushwood brooms and waistcoats from the Sanitek company. The employees bring the broomsticks themselves and use them to tie new brooms every shift with the brushwood provided. The streets are swept by hand.

From talking to the colleagues, we learn that female workers are harassed and humiliated. A colleague was hit by a car and his life is in danger; this accident is a recurring theme in the conversations between Marina and her colleagues and her husband. In the end credits we learn that Pato Melkonyan will not have survived the accident.

Seeing, or not seeing (anymore) is the primary sense in this film, which captivates with aesthetic images: Mount Ararat in the background, the laundry hung out to dry between the houses, a rusty Marlboro advertising sign. Hearing is the other, her children are musical, take lessons at the music school Marina also cleans. One evening she attends the concert her children have been practising for and then drives to work on Yerevan's poorly lit streets.

"Was it better in the Soviet Union, or now?", Marina asks her mother-in-law with honest interest as she cuts her hair. The mother-in-law evades the question.

team: Nairi Hakhverdi


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