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PRINT February 2010

film

Artavazd Peleshian

THERE IS NO BETTER EXAMPLE of a remarkable cinematic accomplishment not finding an audience—at least in the United States—than the work of documentary filmmaker Artavazd Peleshian. Born in 1938 in Armenia, then a part of the Soviet Union, Peleshian began making films as a student at the Moscow Film Institute in 1964; by the time he completed The Beginning, in 1967, he had become what he remains: one of the greatest montage artists in modern cinema. When the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed, one assumed it was only a matter of time before Peleshian’s work would be available on this side of the Atlantic—he had become reasonably well known to European film-festival goers, in part becauseof the support of Jean-Luc Godard—and by all accounts Peleshian himself was excited about the possibility of his films being seen in the United States. He visited here in 1991, and for a

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