Private Project


Armenia, the first nation to adopt Christianity, has defended its culture for over 1700 years. Today, slow economic development, high unemployment and difficult foreign relations keep living standards low.
Among the Armenians, the Yazidis, an ethnic and religious minority, who arrived in Armenia fleeing the Ottoman Empire, live in a poor situation but with security and respect for their ancient traditions.
In 1988 a devastating earthquake impacted the north of the country, killing up to 50,000 people. In Guymri, the second largest city, people still live in harsh conditions amongst the remains of the earthquake largely forgotten by the rest of the world. Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno Karabakh region has not been resolved and remains a source of tension. The memory of those lost in the war is kept alive by families across the country.

  • Ignazio Mascia
  • Ignazio Mascia
  • Dora Biondani
    Key Cast
  • Irma Toudjian
  • HM Music
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    people, minorities, religion, social
  • Runtime:
    46 minutes 47 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Armenian, English, Italian, Russian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ignazio Mascia

Born in Sardinia island in Italy, he is an independent filmmaker and a passionate story seeker. He cooperates with a no-profit organization and directed for them docu-reports from Central America. Film list: "Nuevos Horizontes" (2014), "Plastic recycle in Chinandega" (2014), "Yazidis in Armenia" (2015), "Armenia untold" (2015), "The Pomak healer" (2022)

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Director Statement

In 2014 I travelled to Armenia with the idea of making a documentary telling untold stories about this nation. Staying with Armenian families and living among them, gave me the opportunity to understand better and deeply their spirit and culture. Traveling across the country I met Dora Biondani a freelance Italian photographer who was traveling to Yazidis villages to undertake a photographic essay about this ethnic community. We decided to collaborate to complete our video and photographic projects together. In searching for these villages we saw the devastation that remains in Gyumri from the 1988 earthquake, another untold story. Arriving unannounced we were welcomed into their homes. The people gave us a frank and open account of their history, culture and the way they live today. Against advice I then travelled to the Nagorno Karabakh region, a territory long contested by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to relive this tragedy with surviving family members.