Beauty and the Lawyer

Filmstill Beauty and the Lawyer

Beauty and the Lawyer

Beauty and the Lawyer
Hovhannes Ishkhanyan
International Competition Documentary Film 2023
Documentary Film
105 minutes
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

The film opens with the wedding of Garik and Hasmik and ends with a decorated tree for their son’s first Christmas in the new house that his father built himself. Between these fixed points of middle-class family life, nothing is as heteronormative as this bracket and above all the political and religious mainstream in Armenia would lead one to expect.

Hasmik is a lawyer who fights for LGBTQIA+ rights, her husband appears in the media as drag performer Carabina, does sex work and makes his life in a queer-phobic environment the subject of an autobiographical theatre performance. The film, which evolved out of close friendship and is always one step behind the wild energy of Garik/Carabina, takes a precarious, raw, but also utopian-tinted look at current social struggles. The longing for normality, emancipation and responsibility find themselves exposed – sometimes powerless and unprotected – to violent defamation. TV images show the zeal behind the attempted construction of homosexual and trans persons as “Un-Armenian.” Meanwhile Carabina, in a moment of rest from plastering the house, trowel in hand, plays a song by Charles Aznavour, whose family came from Armenia – “What Makes a Man?”

Jan Künemund

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Hovhannes Ishkhanyan
Hovhannes Ishkhanyan
Wei-Yuan Song
Jean-Marie Gigon
Hovhannes Ishkhanyan
Sound Design
Thomas Fourel
Hasmik Petrosyan, Garik Amolikyan
Winner of: Silver Dove Feature-Length Film (International Competition Documentary Film)