Aurora’s Sunrise

Արշալույսի Լուսաբացը

  • Inna Sahakyan
  • Armenia, Germany, Lithuania
  • 2022
  • 97 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

1919 saw the premiere in New York of Auction of Souls, a silent film about a teenage girl who survived the Armenian genocide and fled to the US. The main role was played by the survivor herself, Aurora Mardiganian. The film was a box office hit, and Mardiganian became world-famous.

The massacres in Armenia continued, however, and Mardiganian was engulfed by the waves of relived trauma whipped up by the callous Hollywood publicity machine. Nonetheless, she chose to become the face of a humanitarian campaign, in the hope of saving her people. Now, more than a century later, Inna Sahakyan’s historical documentary reconstructs the life story of this hero, who died in 1994.

Mardiganian’s memoir Ravished Armenia lies at the heart of this chronological animated film. The animated sections are interspersed with rare scenes from the original Hollywood film, most of which has been lost, as well as archive footage of an elderly Mardiganian recalling her remarkable, hellish odyssey. She, like the film’s director Sahakyan, wanted to ensure that the Armenian genocide will never be forgotten.


  • 97 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Armenian, Turkish, German, Kurdish, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Inna Sahakyan
Vardan Hovhannisyan for Bars Media Documentary Film Studio , Inna Sahakyan for Bars Media Documentary Film Studio
Christian Beetz for Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG, Justė Michailinaitė, Kestutis Drazdauskas for ARTBOX, Eric Esrailian , Kerstin Meyer-Beetz for Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG
Vardan Brutyan
Tigran Arakelyan, Grediminas Skyrius, Rimas Valeikis, Šarūnas Vyštartas

IDFA history

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies