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Atom Egoyan goes to some dark places in his films – his breakthrough Exotica revolved around a missing girl and some suspicious characters. The Sweet Hereafter chronicled tragedy for an entire community, and Ararat tackled a much larger issue, the Armenian genocide (born in Cairo, Atom is the son of Armenian refugees). These films, often featuring his partner, Arsinée Khanjian, have earned him several Genies, nods by the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival, and auteur status.
What you might not know is that Atom also directs opera – he’s staged Salome more than once (another weighty subject), and this winter he’s presenting Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at the Canadian Opera Company. And his new film, Devil’s Knot, continues his compulsion to take on difficult subjects as he tells the story of murder, injustice, and the imprisonment of three young men in Arkansas better known as the West Memphis Three.