Top
Phoenix Tour Armenia / Blog & News  / Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990)

Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990)

Sergei Parajanov (born Sarkis Hovsepi Parajaniants and sometimes spelled Paradzhanov or Paradjanov, born in Tbilisi, Georgia) was an Armenian Soviet film director, screenwriter and artist, who made significant contribution to world cinema with his films “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” and “The Color of Pomegranates”.

He invented his own cinematic style, which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism. This, combined with his controversial lifestyle and behavior, led Soviet authorities to repeatedly persecute and imprison him, and suppress his films. Despite this, Parajanov is considered to be one of the 20 Greatest Film Directors of all time.

After his health seriously weakened by four years in Russian hard labor camps and nine months in prison in Tbilisi, Parajanov died of lung cancer in 1990, at a time when, after almost 20 years of suppression, his films were being featured at foreign film festivals.

In January 1988, he said in an interview, “Everyone knows that I have three Motherlands. I was born in Georgia, worked in Ukraine and I’m going to die in Armenia.” Sergei Parajanov is buried at Komitas Pantheon in Yerevan.

While travelling in Armenia, you should definitely visit the Parajanov Museum, one of the most popular museums in Yerevan. Comprising some 1,400 exhibits, the museum’s collection includes installations, collages, assemblages, drawings, and many other master’s works.

Sergei Parajanov
One of the 20th century's greatest masters of cinema, Sergei Parajanov was unlikely to conform to the strict socialist realism that Soviet authorities preferred.
Sergei Parajanov
In December of 1973, the Soviet government arrested Parajanov and sentenced him to five years in hard labor camps.
Sergei Parajanov
Parajanov's friends and colleagues such as Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra, Francesco Rosi, Alberto Moravia, Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni and Bernardo Bertolucci were among those who grieved his death.
Sergei Parajanov
The "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (1965), was a rhapsodic celebration of Ukrainian folk culture.
Sergei Parajanov
"The Color of Pomegranates" (1969), explored the art and poetry of Parajanov's native Armenia in a series of stunningly beautiful tableaux.
Sergei Parajanov
"The Legend of Suram Fortress" (1985) was a film version of a well-known Georgian folktale.
Sergei Parajanov
Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990)
Sergei Parajanov
The Sergei Parajanov Museum is a tribute to Soviet Armenian director and artist Sergei Parajanov, and is one of the most popular museums in Yerevan.
Sergei Parajanov
Parajanov created not only some of the greatest films of all time, but also many collage masterpieces such as this one with Raphael and Pinturicchio.
Sergei Parajanov
"Raphael and Pinturicchio" (detail)