Synopsis by Nathan Southern
As adapted from the roman by Antonia Arslan and co-directed by legendary Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, The Lark Farm marks one of the few international features to tackle the Armenian genocide head-on. The story (with its thematic parallels, in the early scenes, to De Sica's 1970 Garden of the Finzi-Continis) concerns the Avakian clan. An Armenian family living an affluent lifestyle and periodically shuttling back and forth between their two comfortable homes, the Avakians feel convinced that the rising tide of Turkish hostility on the horizon means little to them and will scarcely affect their day to day. Indeed, The Avakians ignore the warning signs, and set about preparing for a family reunion with the impending visit of two well-to-do sons - landowner Aram, who resides in Turkey, and Assadour, a physician living in Venice. Lo and behold, these illusions come crashing down when a Turkish military regiment crops up at the house, annihilates every male member of the family and forces the ladies to trek off into the Syrian desert, where they will be left to rot. Meanwhile, a handsome Turkish officer (Alessandro Preziosi) falls for Aram's daughter and makes an aggressive attempt to deliver her and her family from certain death, even as the circumstances surrounding him attest to the astounding difficulty of this goal.
Armenia, desert, doctor, empire, genocide, landowner, massacre, officer, Ottoman-Empire, regiment, Turkey, Turkish [nationality]