The Song of the Martyr

41 min.

Filmmaker: Mery Aghakhanyan

The Song of the Martyr


Life around a toxic dump as seen through the eyes and experiences of a resilient villager. 

The "Martyr's Tailing Dump", located near the Armenian-Georgian border, is filled with tons of toxic chemicals. The tailings are dumped without any efforts to protect the soil or, and nearby in the village of Mets Ayrum, people live and breathe that poison through the wind and dust. These people have not been evacuated or compensated for the damage to their health. 

The poisonous tailings pond flooded Samvel Siradeghyan's garden years ago, making the land no longer suitable for agriculture. The trees have dried up. 

Samvel Siradeghyan refuses to surrender, unlike most of the villagers, who try not to notice the damage and the presence of the tailings dam. He started a lawsuit against the mining company and the government for the damage done to his family. Samvel sees no other way out than to fight in his own way, instead of succumbing to despair.

Through purely cinematic language, director Mery Aghakhanyan creates a surreal experience of the village Mets Ayrum, where fact and imagination is blurred.

This film was produced with support from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) South Caucasus Regional Office. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of FES or Chai Khana.