Lost Birds

Directors: Ela Alyamac, Aren Perdeci
Writers: Ela Alyamac, Aren Perdeci
Stars: Sarkis Acemyan, Heros Agopyan, Arto Arsenyan

LOST BIRDS is a historical fairy-tale like story told through the eyes of a young brother and sister who are left behind in the mass deportations of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire of 1915.

It is 1915 in an Armenian village in Anatolia. With their father already serving in the army, Bedo and Maryam’s happy home life is torn apart when their grandfather is taken by soldiers. Now with uncertainty around them, their mother forbids them to go outside. One morning, they sneak away to play in their secret hideaway, and when they return they find an empty house and empty village. What happened to their parents and the neighbours? The children, together with their wounded bird Bacik, embark on a journey to search for their mother.

It was filmmaker Aren Perdeci’s Armenian grandmother’s stories of the genocide that was the reason this story was so important and so personal.

“When people can share their stories, it heals them. That was one of the main reasons we wanted to make LOST BIRDS. 1915 had always been a taboo subject in Turkey” say the filmmakers Aren Perdeci and Ela Alyamac.

LOST BIRDS has been praised as the first Turkish production that tries to deal with the subject of the Armenian Genocide. It is also unique as it does so from the point of view of children.

With beautiful cinematography, filmed with an almost magical, fairy-tale like quality, the filmmakers hope this film will help build bridges between people.

Featuring a talented mostly Armenian cast sourced from the Armenian theatres of Istanbul, and the rich sounds of Komitas, the filmmakers were also helped by Armenian historical advisors who checked details from knives and forks down to the buttons on costumes, to give an accurate portrayal of Armenian village life during the Ottoman Empire.

It is incredible that this film was even made, seeing as it is a taboo subject in Turkey. For this reason, it was important for the filmmakers to get the approval of the Turkish Ministry of Culture’s film fund, who took 1 year to approve the film. It was only after this approval was received that the actors and production crew had the confidence in making the film.

With no violence, and filmed from the point of view of children, LOST BIRDS is for an audience that is both young or young at heart.