Grandma’s Tattoos
Grandma’s Tattoos

Grandma’s Tattoos

Director Suzanne Khardalian

Production year 2011

Length 58min.

Country Sweden


“Grandma Khanoum was not like others. As a child I remember her as a wicked woman. She despised physical contact. This was a grandma who never hugged or kissed. And she wore gloves, which hid her hands and the tattoos. They hid her secret”: this is how Suzanne Khardalian, describes her grandmother. With her film she reveals the veil of thousands of forgotten Armenian women, who survived the Genocide but were forced into prostitution and were tattooed to distinguish them from the locals.


Suzanne Khardalian
Suzanne Khardalian



PeÅ Holmquist


Suzanne Khardalian

Director of Photography

PeÅ Holmquist

Production designer

Suzanne Khardalian, PeÅ Holmquist

Music by

Alan Hovhannes,Vincent Boutolleau


Jonatan Kruse


Toby Trotter

Production company(ies)

PeÅ Holmquist Film HB Prylv. 7, 126 37 Hagersten, Sweden Sveriges Television Al jazeera English

Suzanne Khardalian

Suzanne Khardalian is an independent filmmaker and writer. She studied journalism in Beirut and Paris and worked as a journalist in Paris until 1985 when she started to work with films. In 1988, Khardalian directed Back to Ararat, the first feature length documentary about the Armenian Genocide ever made. It won the Guldbuggen Award for Best Swedish Film in 1988, the equivalent of the Oscars. Khardalian has also dealt with the war in Nagorno Karabagh in her movies. Two films were made. While in 1989, she made the first international documentary, A Secret War in the Soviet Union, on the liberation war of Nagorono Karabagh, when the movement was in its embryo. In 2002, Where Lies My Victory?, which tells about the fate of the war heroes, both men and women, depicting their post war lives. She also holds a Master’s Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School at Tuft's University and contributes with articles to different journals. She had directed over twenty films that have been shown both in Europe and the USA.


Back to Ararat (1988) A Secret War in the Soviet Union (1989), Unsafe Ground (1993), The Lion from Gaza (1996), Her Armenian Prince (1997), From Opium to Chrysanthemums (2000), Where Lies My Victory? (2002), I Hate Dogs (2005), Bullshit (2006), Young Freud in Gaza (2009), Grandma’s Tattoos (2011).

FILMS 2015