HAMO BEKNAZARYAN’S PEPO IN THE UNITED STATES
There were very few miracles in the history of Armenian cinema. One of them was that some films “broke away” from the Soviet iron curtain and had some international exposure.
The premiere of the first Armenian sound film, Hamo Beknazaryan’s Pepo, on June 15, 1935, marked the beginning of its triumphal march—without hyperbole—through the movie theaters of the Soviet Union, as well of a number of countries. Pepo was based on the homonymous play written by Gabriel Sundukyan, a classic name of Armenian playwriting, in 1876. its Armenian ethnographic features and the social context, it was understandable and acceptable to the international audience; thus, it gained international recognition and came to represent Armenian culture abroad.
Pepo crossed the ocean almost immediately after its premiere, in the fall of 1935, and was featured in the big cities of the eastern and western coasts of the United States.
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