One of these developments is the screening of an apparently controversial film called Parada, an “internationally acclaimed Serbian drama dealing with the delicate subject of LGBT rights,” according to an Oct. 15, 2012 press release issued by the EU Delegation in Armenia and the Germany Embassy in Yerevan, which planned on screening the film on Oct. 17 and 18 at Congress Hotel in Yerevan.
“The film is part of the European Union activities for promoting human rights awareness in Armenia, and relates to non-discrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons. The screenings, initially planned for the second week of October, were postponed when the agreed venues were cancelled the events due to public pressure,” read the press release.
Note: the screenings were postponed once already because the venues that agreed to host the event backed out. This is nothing new. In fact, it brings back not-so-fond memories of the cancellation of the Azerbaijani Film Festival in Yerevan in 2010.
And so, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised to find out on Facebook and then through the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia website that the event, oh, was cancelled again.
“The screenings of the film Parada scheduled for 17 and 18 October have been cancelled. The EU Delegation to Armenia and the Embassy of Germany to Yerevan apologise to the interested public for the last-moment notice, caused by the sudden withdrawal of Congress Hotel from the initiative, due to unidentified pressure,” reads press release #2.
Not being allowed to screen this film — especially as it is “part of the EU activities related to Human Rights Day 2012 on the topic of non-discrimination and tolerance” — is nothing short of censorship.
According to a post on Unzipped: Gay Armenia on the earlier cancellation of the screening, the “same groups and individuals who attacked Diversity March (such as Hayazn Union), who justified DIY bombing and so on and so on” are the same people who planned a protest demonstration in front of the Germany Embassy and who planned to “disrupt the screening of the film in the Club and at the Yerevan Puppet Theatre.”
At this point, I don’t know what to say. This is beyond ridiculous. Unzipped called it a “tragicomedy,” but I don’t see the comic elements. It just makes me want to cry.