Who was Sergei Parajanov?
One of the 20th century’s greatest masters of cinema Sergei Parajanov was born in Georgia to Armenian parents and it was always unlikely that his work would conform to the strict socialist realism that Soviet authorities preferred. After studying film and music, Parajanov became an assistant director at the Dovzhenko studios in Kiev, making his directorial debut in 1954, following that with numerous shorts and features, all of which he subsequently dismissed as “garbage”. However, in 1964 he was able to make Tini zabutykh predkiv (1964), a rhapsodic celebration of Ukrainian folk culture, and the world discovered a startling and idiosyncratic new talent.
He followed this up with the even more innovative Sayat Nova (1968) (which explored the art and poetry of his native Armenia in a series of stunningly beautiful tableaux), but by this stage the authorities had had enough, and Paradjanov spent most of the 1970s in prison on almost certainly rigged charges of “homosexuality and illegal trafficking in religious icons”. However, with the coming of perestroika, he was able to make two further films before succumbing to cancer in 1990. Sergei Parajanov – Biography
Parajanov: The Last Spring
In December of 1973, the Soviet government arrested Parajanov and sentenced him to five years in hard labor camps. A large group of world-famous artists, filmmakers and activists protested and Parajanov was released, but only after having served four horrific years in the Soviet penal system. Poet Louis Aragon’s petition to the Soviet government was instrumental in securing Parajanov’s release. Parajanov returned to Tbilisi, but the regime continued to keep him away from cinema.
About the Paradjanow museum: www.parajanov.com
Where is Armenia?
Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստան Hayastan), officially in English the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked mountainous country in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Southern Caucasus. It borders Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan to the south. A transcontinental country at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Armenia has had and continues to have extensive sociopolitical and cultural connections with Europe. Armenia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia