Artavazd Peleshian (b. 1938)
Inhabitants (1970)
In contrast to the unusually large number of people in the Beginning and We, Inhabitants (Obitateli, 1970) is almost completely devoid of humans. Peleshian attributes this peculiar absence, quite strangely, to his audience being critical of him for We. Filled with shots of large-scale migrations and stampedes (with, surprisingly, even helicopter shots being present in the film), Inhabitants merely alludes to the presence of the human beings, in the form of a few silhouettes, who seem to be the central cause of panic. Shot in widescreen, Inhabitants, for most part, depicts wildlife, in panic. At first glance, with the anti-mankind tone of the movie, Inhabitants seems to take Peleshian back to the arguably cynical mode of Beginning. But once you begin to see that the humans in the film aren't exactly humans but far from it, Peleshian's faith in humanity comes to surface. Surely, the animals are just a normalized form of the people of We, of Beginning and of Earth of People. But the relevant question is whether Inhabitants is connected to the Armenian history directly or not. With the visuals showing us exoduses and captive animals and the soundtrack including gunshots and screams, it is not unfair for one to be reminded once more of the nation's plight. Whatever the case, the film resonates with quintessentially Peleshian themes - of change, of resilience and of survival.