Traces of War
  NUR films











Dir: Jana Richter
Documentary, HDV, 55 min, Nagorno Karabakh

Website: http://www.richterproduction.de/Traces_of_War/index.html


Tsovak is a village school director who teaches mathematics and physics. He lives with his family in Zuar Village.

Although Sayat is a professional dancer, he is currently the mayor of Havsatagh Village where he and his family also live.

Both villages are in a country that does not exist.

Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabakh is a small region historically populated by Armenians. Today, the population is approximately 138 000. During the long war of independence with Azerbaijan, from both sides over 120 000 people died, were wounded, or went missing. In 1994, a cease fire was signed. Since then, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic is de facto independent but lacks international recognition. We shot our film where there were traces of war everywhere. When driving through the ruins, we often saw signs reading: “Pass forbidden – Danger of explosives”. Nevertheless Nagorno Karabakh is not a country that stands still but a land that lives. Between the still partly destroyed houses of Stepanakert, a ballet school opened. Everywhere we look, we find large and small business such as bakeries, blacksmiths, a furniture factory, a carpet factory, and a shoemaker's workshop. Everywhere people study, work, and build up their country. The people who were born here and the people who came to live and work here connected their destinies with this land. They manage to create a new life for themselves in a country that does not exist. The strength, resistance and energy of the people of Karabakh impress us every day, again and again.

If you visit Nagorno Karabakh today, you will be surprised how much it has changed. But, still there are traces of war… And, everything that the inhabitants from this land have built throughout the years may be taken away from them or destroyed tomorrow. That's why they must be ready to defend their motherland. However, the people of Nagorno Karabakh continue to construct and to live with hope that a 20 year long cease-fire will one day turn into a real peace treaty. The war will halt and the World will see that their country does exist.

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