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Don’t Criticize Armenia’s Army. It’s Worse in US and Russia, Says Film Producer

In Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema Rector, film producer Armen Mazmanyan’s opinion, there’s an issue of raising the Armenian army’s morale, and the army shouldn’t be criticized since it’s only an objective reflection of Armenian society. The poor state of society, according to him, comes from the fact that children don’t receive discipline at home.

Meeting with journalists today, Mazmanyan presented the film “I Am” (produced by Mazmanyan and directed by Vahagn Grigoryan and Karen Babajanyan) which, he says, is aimed at raising army morale.

“We have to understand that we’re a small country, which is in a region of enemies; our enemy is outside and, god forbid, in case of war, we won’t have the resources to fight if we consider each other the enemy. The message of our film is this: I don’t have an enemy on this side of the border. I am the soldier of my homeland,” he said.

In the film producer’s opinion, “I am the soldier” is an ideology, and “such fundamental national consciousness shouldn’t have a connection with minute domestic, electoral and political issues.”

Asked how he responds to the increase in non-combat deaths in Armenia’s army, Mazmanyan answered that there are unhealthy relationships in all armies, particularly specifying that there is a tremendous number of incidents of sexual harassment in the US army and the situation in Russia’s army is also unbearable.

“Every killed soldier is my child, but this isn’t [just] Armenia’s problem, but a global problem. It’s just that we’re a small country — every incident evokes a big outcry. In Israel, for example, it’s prohibited to even make army issues public; I consider this a partially correct strategy. To not say that we have an army means to be ill and to spread this illness to the public,” he said.