Some documentaries play like excellent history books, unfolding in a gripping flow of twists and turns for those unaware of the events. Garin Hovannisian’s latest film, I Am Not Alone, is one such documentary, offering a fast-paced account of the 2018 Armenian Revolution.
I Am Not Alone opens with Nikol Pashinyan’s literal first steps of protest for a march across Armenia; done in order to protest the unjust actions of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who is attempting to win re-election despite having already served the legal maximum of two terms. At the moment, Nikol is alone, but this is only temporary. What transpires is an incredible story; one that is altogether too gripping to be anything but true.
While the eventual endpoint may be known to many viewers, if you are only vaguely familiar with events I suggest you go in as cold as you possibly can. Hovannisian’s greatest strength is that he manages make this material seem like it is not a foregone conclusion. There are actual seeds of doubt to this film, which is a rarity for this kind of interview based documentary.
Some of Hovannisian’s metaphors don’t particularly land. One that feels slightly shallow is a chess metaphor alluded to during interviews with Sargsyan. However, I Am Not Alone has a very high production value, which is most evident whenever the film goes to its many beautiful landscape shots. All in all, this is a compelling human interest story that will likely invigorate the majority of its viewers.