Hamlet Sarkissian Releases Lovers In The Fog


Manage episode 232082743 series 1487836
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Love is in the air… but so is the cold war. Hamlet Sarkissian’s Lovers in the Fog (Page Publishing, April 2, 2019) intermingles a search for romantic completion with a quest for human rights in Gorbachev-era Russia. While the story is set in the late 80s, it is impossible to ignore the parallels with today’s tense political climate, where echoes of Cold War rhetoric emanate from news outlets and officials debate over America’s relationship with Russia. As the son of a prominent dissident in Soviet Armenia (the former USSR), Sarkissian was unlikely to grow up and live in Los Angeles as a successful filmmaker/author. His father, Vache Sarkissian, was a political prisoner during the Cold War and spent 18 years in KGB prisons and Soviet Gulag labor camps as punishment for resisting the dictatorial and tyrannical central government. Sarkissian was a first-hand witness to the unfolding drama derisively labeled the “Evil Empire” by United States president Ronald Reagan – where ordinary people tried to live their lives peacefully while Russian authorities responded with psychological warfare. Daily life as the son of a political prisoner shaped his worldview, but rather than normalizing the constant surveillance and fear, Sarkissian explored an internal drive to improve the human condition through art; as a young man he was accepted to the prestigious Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography. Finding life in the Soviet system unbearable after his father’s suicide in 1987, he emigrated to the U.S., sponsored by the International Institute of Human Rights. Here, he developed into a new breed of artist, passionate about justice and driven to tell vivid, unforgettable stories that awaken people to important issues lurking just below the surface – like his feature drama film "Camera Obscura" (2000). Given the virulent political climate in the United States today, and the destructive polarization of the media, Lovers in the Fog offers an opportunity to hear unfiltered truths about Russia, Communism and the courageous dissidents who sacrificed their lives to share the truth. Told from the point of view of Luke Forsythe, an American human rights attorney who goes to Russia to teach local dissidents how to reform their civil laws, the story opens with Luke embarking on a solo drive up the east coast of the United States to rendezvous with the love of his life, a mystery woman who went missing a decade before. During the drive from Key West to Montauk, the open road provides Luke with a canvas upon which he paints his memories, desires and deepest fears. His love affair, his new family and his efforts to extricate dissidents from Gorbachev’s Russia are vividly remembered and parsed so he can filter truth from reality

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