TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘I Am Not Alone’

TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘I Am Not Alone’

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.

  • Release Date: 9/7/2019
This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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