Ironically, Atom Egoyan's 1993 masterpiece is the most spontaneously generated of his features, one in which he plays the male lead—a petulant photographer whose marriage falls apart during an assignment to shoot a dozen historic Armenian churches for a calendar. The movie basically oscillates between two time frames: scenes with the photographer, his translator wife (Arsinee Khanjian), and their local guide (Ashot Adamian) in Armenia, and scenes in Canada afterward, in which the photographer repeatedly goes through the same romantic ritual with a number of other women. One of the best movies made anywhere about tribalism and its perils, this is at once hilarious and painful, fresh and beautiful—an apotheosis of Egoyan's preoccupations with identity, sex, and representation. 75 min.
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