The Main Character and His Goal

The main character in Calendar is a photographer. He goes to Armenia, ostensibly to photograph churches for a calendar. He travels with his wife and a driver. While in Armenia we see only his point of view, never him. He asks questions, he reacts, but never in a sympathetic manner. His wife acts as the translator for the driver, explaining the history of the sights. The photographer seems rigid, defensive, and eventually jealous of the developing relationship between his wife and the driver. On a deeper level, he seems to be reacting against her acceptance of being both Armenian and Canadian (she speaks the language). He, on the other hand, seems a stranger in Armenia, certainly separated from any sense of identification with the place.

Interspersed with the Armenian sequence is a later sequence, which takes place in Canada. The photographer has dinners with a number of women, all from ethnic minorities; each excuses herself when he pours the last glass of red wine. They ask if they can make a phone call. They each do so. Each speaks (apparently to lovers) in her mother tongue—French, German, Finnish, Arabic. As they do, he ruminates on writing to his wife (in Armenia) or to his foster child (also in Armenia). The scene moves back and forth in time between Armenia and Canada.

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