Although Peleschjan’s movies belong to the most influential works of the Russian documentary film and already became famous in the 1960ies through Jean-Luc Godard, the total of 11 movies from the artist who lives in Moscow in seclusion, are even inaccessible to an audience with a good knowledge of art. This, although his works are shown regularly at film festivals and Peleschjan has also gained recognition in the art context since the middle of the 90ies: So Paul Virilio gave a key position to Peleschjan’s biggest work <> (1982) in the exhibition <> in the Paris Fondation Cartier.
<> is an impressive black/white epic on the dreams and nightmares of the progress of civilization in the 20th century, a work which shows, as already found by Hanna Arendt in 1968, that progress and catastrophe are the two sides of one medal. The centre of attention is man in the politicial, historical and social development. <> (1972--75) impressively records everyday scenes of Armenia, a life between progress and tradition, which is still marked by natural forces. The short movie <> (1970) by means of photos from the archive and own material shows animals of the steppe which are fleeing from a threat that remains schematic.
Peleschjan’s documentary films form picture and sound to an impressive composition influenced by Dziga Vertov and Sergej Eisenstein. Peleschjan works with the cut technique developed by himself of <> which allows exciting sequences and changes of pictures and which includes the rythmic power of music.