Directed by Pouria Oureh
From one of the most unlikely places comes this sensitive and beautifully-realized tale centered on two brothers, one of whom must come to terms with his sibling’s identity. Aram, an Iranian Armenian who has lived most of his life in the U.S., returns to Armenia to propose to the Armenian woman he met and lived with in the U.S., and to ask her father for her hand in marriage. He is aided by his brother Vartan, who takes on the traditional role that would have been attended to by their deceased father. APRICOT GROVES is focused less on narrative complexity and more on observations of the stunning Armenian landscape and of the subtle and often-telling looks and gestures between individuals. Tehran-based director Pouria Heidary Oureh wonderfully captures the atmosphere of a place and the richness of a culture steeped in long-held customs and traditions—ways of life unfamiliar to Aram, but still part of him. As Vartan begins to connect with this new brother, Aram connects to his heritage, even if it cannot connect with him. These two inward journeys are mirrored by the brothers’ literal journey from America to Iran to Armenia, from the known to the unknown, from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the past to a future with possibilities.