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The Mystery of “The Road”


Bars Media Documentary Film Studio is on its Road to peacefulness. Roffi Petrossian came to Armenia to understand what is to be an Armenian. “Road” is a 12-part TV documentary show illustrating a man of Armenian origin, Roffi Petrossian. His tour through Armenia is meant to unveil his heritage.The main idea of the project is to show the Armenia we had never seen. The project captures fascinating scenes of nature and hospitable villages.    

   “I was always told that I am Armenian and my name introduces myself. Whenever someone approached me and asked my name, I was like “My name is Raffi” and then I had to tell the whole story, a story which I didn’t know and the one that I was told by people who have never been here.”                                                                                          Roffi Petrossian

The producer of the project Arevik Avanesian states that Roffi came here as a volunteer and that’s how they found each other. She claims that the stimulus of the Road was Roffi’s passion for climbing.

Arevik states: “We didn’t know what would be interesting for Armenian society, but what we have: “We wanted to show Armenia that was not discovered,” says Arevik. “Armenia is well known for its churches. So, we wanted to show something completely different. To understand what it is to be an Armenian and to make other people proud of Armenia that they have.”

Responding to the question on how destinations are chosen you choose your destination, Roffi claims: “When I  came here for the first time I felt as a tourist for the whole year being a volunteer here. I saw places that everyone else could see. While exploring Armenia I decided to show and discover places which are partly unknown not only to me but also for many locals.  DzhokhiDzor is one of the most beautiful places and I go there very often but I had never been inside the canyon. So, whenever I discovered this phenomenon, I decided to show it to the rest of the Armenians”.

Regarding his connection with Armenia, Roffi claims that his profession had a huge impact on his understanding of Armenia. Since he is a botanist, nature has always fascinated him. As Roffi states, the nature of Armenia is very rich, as well as how much eatable food is here. “So, I was just walking around these beautiful valleys and I was always fascinated by their beauty. It’s a special place because I find my spirituality here. It’s a physical difficulty which I realize should be overcome whenever you are climbing.  And even if there is a question that I have no answer for, when I climb and I actually get to the top of the mountain I realize how small I am and how insignificant I am and how the life goes on. To summarize, a mountain is a place where I feel myself.”

One of the most confusing issues was people’s impressions, that Roffi Indicates: “At first, I was an outsider just because I look like a foreigner. I think I was always seen as a foreigner. But whenever I talked Armenian and despite the fact that my Armenian was not good, they started to accept me as a significant part of their family. And whenever we start talking and discussing something we used to drink a homemade vodka and this was a real consideration that I was accepted by them. They treated me like their relative.”

As people may assume, whenever shooting a film people tend to be more actors, than what they really are. About this issue, Roffi claims that he would consider himself as a relatively private person and it was a huge difficulty for him to share his feeling with camera and whole world. However, after a couple of days, he managed to overcome this and to express himself freely.

Khechoyan Arsen is the cameraman of the Road and as Roffi states, the group of operators pass even more difficult road, than he does. Arsen claims that during these adventures it is important to treat your camera, as a significant part of your body.  He states: “If you fall and break your leg, the shooting process will continue, and only if the camera falls, you can count that everything is lost.” Arsen is strongly inclined to the view that one should consider the weight as a piece of your soul. Finally, the camera is more important than food while shooting a movie.

Photos by Hasmik Barkhudaryan

If you had an opportunity to travel with someone from any part of the world, whom would you choose?

-Probably a famous Chef. I love food so whenever I go somewhere, they  cook something really tasty.

How could you introduce the mountains to a person who had never been there?

– Practically it is a collection of rocks that are gathered and come up out of ground and come up to a specific point. That’s what mountain physically is. And what is not physical, mountain is a physical challenge that you see ahead of you but also, it’s symbolic because there is always something to reach for.

What makes you be Armenian?

-My surname

Describe Armenia in only two words

-Beautiful and Home.

What we need to start a similar trip?

  • A good pair of shoes
  • Layers
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • Short shirt and long sleeve shirt
  • Wall sweater
  • Warm jacket
  • 2-3 pairs of socks and underwear
  • Hat
  • Small backpack
  • Sleeping bag and air mattress

Good attitude            

Roffi Petrossian

 


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